Improving Canada’s Citizenship Process
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently announced that candidates who fail their citizenship examination will now be able to write it a second time, instead of a requisite appointment with a citizenship judge first.
The new measure ensures Canadian permanent residents are able to obtain Canadian citizenship more quickly, by removing unnecessary administrative hurdles encountered when applicants fail their Canadian citizenship examination. The adjustment will expedite the citizenship process, while reducing backlogs in the Canadian immigration system. Such revisions also reduce administrative costs paid for with Canadian taxpayer money.
Prior to the new measure, Canadian permanent residents who failed their citizenship tests were made to wait several months to appear before a judge, who would then render a final decision regarding the application for Canadian citizenship. As of June 3, 2013, citizenship applicants will know the results of their examination immediately after writing the test. Those who fail will now be able to rewrite the exam in a matter of weeks. Candidates who receive a failing grade initially, but who pass the exam on their second attempt, will proceed to a scheduled Canadian citizenship ceremony. Further, those who failed their exam before these new changes came into affect will also be able to rewrite the exam, instead of waiting for an appointment with a citizenship judge.
Another important revision to the citizenship process is the stipulation that each individual family member may now apply for citizenship on their own, independent from other family members. Citizenship qualification will now be assessed on an individual basis, and applicants need not fear refusal due to the weakest link on an application. This has lowered the amount of refusals and lessened wait times. The Canadian government says it is committed to ensuring its Canadian immigration model is as efficient and fair as possible.
These changes help ensure Canada maintains the high number of permanent residents transitioning to Canadian citizenship each year. Since 2006, Canadian immigration officials have been granting citizenship to approximately 200,000 permanent residents per year. This number of newly admitted Canadian citizens represents the highest levels in Canadian immigration history.
Finally, 8 additional citizenship judges have been appointed since the beginning of 2013. Canadian immigration officials hope these new additions will foster reliable wait times with regards to pending citizenship decisions. The Canadian government has also committed $44 million in investment over the next two years, to help improve the Canadian citizenship process in a variety of areas. The investment is part of the 2013 Economic Action Plan, and will be used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to meet the demands of the Canadian immigration system.
For a free consultation with a Canadian immigration lawyer, contact First Immigration Law Firm, toll-free in North America @ 1 (855) 360-4333 or 1 (514) 360-4333 internationally.