Citizenship Requirements: New Rules for Language Requirement

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has recently tightened restrictions involving the Canadian citizenship test. Prospective citizens will now have to provide objective proof of their competency in one of the national languages of Canada. This new rule will go into effect for all citizenship applications received as of November 1 of this year, 2012. Previously one’s proficiency in either English or French was analyzed by the immigration officer handling the applicant’s case by normal conversation and administration of the citizenship knowledge test.

The application processes for both citizenship and permanent resident status can be somewhat difficult and new rules are often implemented as needed to create a better immigration system. Immigration Direct maintains this blog to inform potential immigrants of the newest developments and also provides assistance to those who need help filing the proper forms.

The Canadian government made this change in policy in response to evidence that shows that citizens who know how to speak either English or French before they become citizens have an easier time adjusting to full Canadian citizenship. The old system where the officials will judge an applicant’s competency will remain, but citizenship applicants will also have to supply proof to these judges.

The documents that can now be submitted at the time of application to demonstrate one’s competency in either English or French include:

  • A third-party competency test which has been approved for use by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • A degree either from a high school or a college that was taught in either English or French.
  • “The evidence of achieving the appropriate language level in certain government-funded language training programs.”

It is not entirely certain what organizations will be allowed to administer competency tests or what government-funded programs will qualify one for citizenship under the new rules.

Only applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 are required to take the language te