October 17, 2011

New Language Test for Canadian Citizenship Applicants

New Language Test for Canadian Citizenship

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is proposing changes to to improve citizenship program. If approved, it would change the way that citizenship applicants aged 18-54 prove their language ability.

The proposed changes aim to expedite the process. Under the current system, the language ability of the applicants is assessed by a CIC Staff and it appears an applicants do not meet language requirements, they are invited for an interview with a citizenship judge. There can be a significant time delay between the submission of the application and the subsequent hearing for language.

Under the proposed new system, applicants would have to provide objective evidence that they meet the language requirement when they file their application. Applicants would be able to demonstrate language ability by submitting a variety of evidence, including:

  • the results of a third party test;

  • evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or

  • evidence of achieving Canadian Language Benchmarks(CLB)/NCLC 4 in certain government funded language training programs.

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