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Can Immigrants Join the Canada Military?

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Can Immigrants Join the Military?: People often shorten the name of Canada military, the Canadian Armed Forces, to CAF. Can Immigrants Join the Military? Some important facts about the Canadian Armed Forces are listed below:

The structure: 

The Canadian Armed Forces are made up of three main groups: the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Canadian Army. There are different jobs and roles for each branch.


The CAF’s main job is to protect Canada and its interests at home and abroad. This includes helping out during natural tragedies, going on missions to keep the peace, and furthermore, making contributions to efforts to keep the world safe.


There are tens of thousands of active soldiers and reservists in the CAF, yet the exact number can change. The exact amounts could change based on what the country needs and what the government decides.


The Canadian military has a lot of modern tools, like armoured trucks, naval ships, and airplanes. Canada is also a part of NATO, and as a result, it helps the group defend itself.


The Canadian Armed Forces have been in a lot of foreign operations, including missions to keep the peace in Cyprus, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Furthermore, they have been sent to places like Afghanistan to fight.


The CAF puts a lot of value on training and being professional. Members go through a lot of training to make sure they are ready for their jobs, whether they are serving in the United States or another country.


To help them deal with the demands of military life, members of the military and their families get help in many areas, such as healthcare, schooling, and housing.

Reserve Force: 

Canada has a strong reserve force made up of part-time soldiers who can be called up to help out in times of emergency. The reservists are a big part of making the main force stronger.

Women in the Military: 

The Canadian military has worked to expand the number of women in its ranks and encourage diversity and acceptance.

Structure of Command: 

The Minister of National Defence is in charge of the CAF, and the Chief of the Defence Staff is in charge of the force. In the end, the military is controlled by civilians, and the government is in charge of its policies and finances.

Can Immigrants Join the Canada Military?

There are more applications from new foreigners wanting to know whether can Immigrants Join the Military.

Lt.-General Jennie Carignan told New Canadian Media in an exclusive interview that the fact that so many new immigrants want to join Canada’s Armed Forces is a good sign for the institution’s modernization.

The military dropped citizenship requirements to get more people to join the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) two months ago, and since then, more than 6,000 new immigrants have applied to join. This is according to the most recent statistics given to New Canadian Media.

A lot of new Canadians are interested in living here permanently now that we’ve opened the door,” Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan, who is in charge of professional conduct and culture for the military, told NCM in an interview while she was in Vancouver recently.

“The number of people from different backgrounds who want to become new Canadians has gone up from 23% to over 30%,” she said. “This is wonderful news.”

A report from NCM on November 11 said that Canada’s military would be more welcoming to newcomers after the CAF recruitment site was changed to represent the new policy. 

Before the change, only Canadian citizens could apply for jobs in the military of their own country. Permanent residency did not count, except in certain situations.

Permanent residents who join the military now will not have to meet the minimum residency requirements. To keep their permanent resident status, a new immigrant must have lived in Canada for at least 730 days in the last five years. They will also be able to leave the country for personal reasons or to go on assignment overseas. 

The CAF is now hiring for more than 100 jobs, such as marine techs and radiologists.  As of July 2022, the regular force had about 63,500 troops, which is about 8,000 less than what it was supposed to have. 

A goal for the CAF was to get at least 5,900 new members through its recruiting sites by March 2023. 

Changes from top to bottom

LGen Carignan, who is in charge of the command team for the military group whose job it is to change the culture of the Canadian Armed Forces, said that the rise in recruitment was a good sign for her unit’s efforts to bring the organization up to date.

She is the first woman in the Canadian Armed Forces to lead a combat unit and a mother of four. She said that her main job now is to bring about and solidify social change across all of the CAF and DND departments.

“This is a defence project from the bottom up, the top down, and across the whole CAF,” she said. 

We need to create a place where people can be real and themselves while, at the same time, working toward the same goal.

Five council groups work for LGen Carignan’s organization. They speak for visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, the LGBTQA+ community, people with disabilities, and people who fight for women’s rights.

LGen Carignan said, “We get their input every time we make a new policy and every time we go out and start a new project.” “And our strategies, processes, and policies are based on them.”

She stated that we are increasing our efforts to be hospitable. LGen Carignan is enforcing big changes, like a new dress code that doesn’t discriminate based on gender and other parts of a person’s appearance, like the length of their hair. 

She is also setting up a restorative engagement process, and she hopes that it will help with culture change strategies and staff conflicts.

The method for handling complaints in the defence department will also be reorganized, and, furthermore, managers will be better trained and promoted.

She stated that I anticipate a performance measurement framework that will provide both quantitative and qualitative data on whether or not CAF is making progress in establishing a healthy culture to be completed shortly.

Members of NATO are also looking at what the CAF is doing to change the attitude of its leaders and troops, LGen Carignan said.

“I just got back from meeting with 25 of our NATO allies who are very interested in what we are doing,” she said.


LGen Carignan said that most military families are in favour of the needed changes in society. However, she did say that there are some people in the military, and in the media, who don’t agree.

As reported by the Ottawa Citizen, retired Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve was one of the critics. He got a standing ovation from top military officers after giving a speech at a dinner in Ottawa last November. During the speech, he criticized the changes to military dress codes.

A former National Defence analyst named Thomas Juneau said on Twitter that Maisonneuve’s speech according to the paper, it was an embarrassment and an excellent example of the culture of entitlement that has led to systematic abuses of power in the senior ranks of the military.

The question remains, can Immigrants Join the Military? Some people, like Jamie Sarkonak, a columnist for the National Post, say that the military’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusivity is making it harder to train for war. 

Sarkonak wrote, however, “It’s hard to see why any of this would be important to the Armed Forces, whose job should be to protect all Canadians equally.”

LGen Carignan said that making a lasting, good change in the military’s culture will help Canada deal with growing threats at home and around the world.

“This has never been a bother.” “Your teams can’t be the best they can be if the people on them don’t feel safe and valued when they put on a uniform,” she said.

“The things that made us successful in the past won’t work for us in the future.” “We need to change how we act, how we lead, and how we think about power and authority,” LGen Carignan said in an update about her unit.

“The changes and growth we’ve seen over the past few months have inspired us at CPCC, and we’re sure that we can continue to get better together.”


  1. CAF’s Three Branches
  2. Protecting Canada’s Interests
  3. Active Soldiers and Reservists
  4. Modern Equipment
  5. International Operations
  6. Rigorous Training
  7. Family Support
  8. Strong Reserve Force
  9. Diversity Efforts
  10. Civilian Control
  11. Immigrant Recruitment
  12. Permanent Resident Criteria
  13. Recruitment Goals
  14. Diversity Measures
  15. International Interest

FAQs about ‘Can Immigrants Join the Military’

1. Can Immigrants Join the Military, now?

The CAF removed citizenship requirements, allowing permanent residents and newcomers to Canada to enlist in the military.

2. What is the significance of this policy change?

The policy change aims to increase the diversity of the CAF and attract a broader range of candidates. Furthermore, it also helps address recruitment goals.

3. What are the eligibility criteria for newcomers or permanent residents to join the CAF?

To keep their permanent resident status, new immigrants should have resided in Canada for 730 days within the last five years. Additionally, individuals will also have permission to leave the country for personal reasons or overseas assignments.

4. How many new immigrants have applied to join the CAF since the policy change?

Over 6,000 new immigrants applied to join the CAF after citizenship requirements were removed, as per recent statistics.

5. What types of jobs are available in the CAF for new recruits?

The CAF is currently hiring for a variety of roles, including marine technicians, radiologists, and many more. The specific job opportunities may vary.

6. What is the CAF’s recruitment goal, and by when do they aim to achieve it?

The CAF’s goal, in fact, is to recruit at least 5,900 new members through its recruiting efforts by March 2023.

7. How is the CAF working to promote diversity and inclusion within its ranks?

CAF formed council groups for diverse communities, including visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and women’s rights advocates. Their input informs policies and initiatives aimed at fostering diversity and inclusion.

8. Are there any criticisms or concerns regarding these policy changes?

While many support the changes, however, there have been criticisms from some quarters, including retired military personnel and the media. Some argue that a focus on diversity and inclusion may detract from the military’s core mission of defense.

9. How does the CAF plan to address these criticisms and ensure lasting cultural change?

CAF acts with dress code updates, complaint changes, and manager training, aiming to foster an inclusive and healthy military culture.

10. How is the international community reacting to the CAF’s efforts to change its culture and promote diversity?

NATO allies are keen to learn from Canada’s military cultural transformation efforts, finding value in the CAF’s experiences.

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