Hundreds of Nova Scotians gathered at Pier 21 to help friends and family celebrate Canada Day in the most patriotic way — by taking the oath of citizenship.

A total of 47 people from 23 countries — including Cuba, Iran and the Czech Republic — officially became Canadian.

"You will be changed by Canada, and Canada will be changed by you," citizenship judge Linda Carvery told them.

Some have only been in Canada a few years, while others have lived here for 50 years.

Health care, education and a sense of home

Azam Chadeganipour has been in Canada almost four years and took the oath Monday. She came from Iran with her family because of Canada's high quality of life and good education system.

"I'm so excited. When you leave your country, it's really hard, but I find here, it's a new home," she said.

Chadeganipour works at Pier 21, Canada's Museum of Immigration, and helped design the logo used during Canada Day.

Martina Cejpova left the Czech Republic 20 years ago. Deciding to become a Canadian meant renouncing her Czech citizenship, so it was a hard decision to make.

"It took me a while," she said. "Now I know for sure that Canada is my home. Canada is good to me."

It's been almost 41 years since Lynn Joseph arrived in Canada from the United States, but on this July 1 he can officially call himself a Canadian.

He immigrated in September 1972 from New York.

"My parents both passed away and my wife is from Kentville. I have two daughters and six grandchildren and they're all from Canada. I felt it was time to become Canadian. I am Canadian," he said.

"Canada kind of suits my personality. It's a very caring, loving country and they really care about their citizens. I really appreciate the health care system, too."

The citizenship ceremony is the final step immigrants take to become a Canadian citizen.