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Getting Canadian Citizenship Might Get Harder

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This month Canada celebrated Citizenship Week (October 17 to 23) and held more than 60 citizenship ceremonies and celebrations across the country to mark the occasion. While many were celebrating their new citizenship, some people were concerned with a recent announcement by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in which they stated the Government of Canada is considering making language requirements harder for those applying for Canadian citizenship.

In order to qualify for Canadian citizenship, Canadian Permanent Residents must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Applicants must be able to pass a multiple choice exam to determine their knowledge of Canadian history, values, institutions, symbols, and proficiency in one of Canada’s two official languages – English or French. However, these multiple choice exams do not properly assess an applicant’s listening and speaking skills.

If an applicant fails a written test, or if concerns arise regarding an applicant’s language abilities following interactions with CIC staff members, an interview with a citizenship judge is scheduled. This can be problematic as there can be a substantial delay between taking the test and seeing a citizenship judge. Furthermore, it is at the discretion of the citizenship judge to determine whether an applicant has a sufficient level of language proficiency.

CIC wants to require future applicants to demonstrate their language proficiency by providing objective evidence, such as proof of post-secondary education completed in English or French or sufficient results of a third party test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). CIC’s proposed change would not increase the level of language proficiency required, but rather how applicants prove their language ability. These changes would only be applicable to applicants ages 18-54.

“The ability to communicate effectively in either French or English is key to the success of new citizens in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “This change will encourage applicants to ensure that they can speak English or French when they apply for citizenship, thereby improving the integrity and effectiveness of the citizenship program for Canada and for new Canadians alike.”

By providing objective evidence that applicants meet language requirements, citizenship judges would have a better understanding of an applicant’s language abilities and make a more informed decision. If language requirements are not met, CIC would be able to quickly return applicants, a process they hope will result in reduced processing times. and will report on the official changes to the citizenship program as soon as they are revealed.

To learn more about Canada’s citizenship program, please visit





4 thoughts on “Getting Canadian Citizenship Might Get Harder

  1. Avatar

    This is good writen article suppoting new statistics showing canadian dream in reality is becoming a canadian nitemare

    Study finds Canadian immigrants at a growing disadvantage. (as per article at
    Canada has a great many highly educated immigrants working in low-skilled jobs, the report finds. Income is significantly lower for immigrants than it is for the native-born. The country also has a poor score on housing affordability. The relative disadvantage of immigrants has been increasing, rather than decreasing, since 2000.

  2. Avatar
    No name

    What has been done to people served with a residency questionnaire and awaiting Citizenship judge’s interview is nothing less than outrageous! I am not listing my name because I fear you and fear your lash back which you have been very known to do. People like me are not asking to jump the queue, we are not asking to be treated differently, all we ask is for us to sit down in front of a judge to prove our residency. For a man like me who has been waiting for the past 3 years to present his evidence in front of a judge is bordering on criminality

    Has it not been for my company’s dependency on my experience, I would’ve been let go long time ago.

    I know I will eventually meet a judge who will easily see that I have met the minimum residency requirements long, long time ago. After I meet the judge, and after I get my citizenship, I PROMISE Jason Kenney that I will not spend a day in a country that mistreated me in such a way. Giving my experience and my qualification, I am sure that I will be welcomed in any country I set my foot in.

    As for the other brown nosers dumping a lot of applause to your department here, it must be nice working for CIC. This department, with its lack of organization and supervision is not fit for a banana republic, never mind a country that considers itself part of the G7.

  3. Avatar
    Gurdev S. Bains

    Making harder to obtain citizenship will afffect many immigrants from non english speaking countries espacially, thus making them not able to cast their votes in federal and provincial election and voice their concerns and opinions about govertment policies in many areas, including immgration. Is it delibrate?

  4. Avatar
    wiliams akha

    i love to be in canada

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