Canadian permanent residents can now submit applications for citizenship online.
As of August 11, IRCC has opened the online portal to single applicants over the age of 18. It is not open to family applications, nor representatives. Also, it is not open to those who are employed by the crown and living outside of Canada.
Later in 2021, IRCC intends to open the online application to families, and minors under age 18. In 2022, the online application will be available to representative to apply on behalf of their clients. It will also be open to crown servants declaring residence outside Canada.
Applicants who have already submitted on paper should not try to reapply online, IRCC says in a media release.
IRCC had already been developing this new tool, as part of an initiative to modernize the immigration system. In late 2020, it released the tool to test the platform’s capacity.
The new online portal allows applicants to save partially-completed applications and resume them at a later time. It also allows users to upload supporting documents, proof of payment, print a PDF and ask for a confirmation of receipt.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has said his vision for Canada’s immigration system to become paperless.
The pandemic forced IRCC to start modernizing to allow for immigration to continue amid public health measures. So far, Canada has made citizenship testing available online, and also started holding virtual citizenship ceremonies.
Along other lines of business, the department has also begun doing virtual landings for newly-arrived permanent residents. For immigration applicants, a number of paper-based programs are starting to go digital.
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