Canadian Citizenship Practice Test II

Are you ready to take the Citizenship Test?

If you are a Permanent Resident seeking to become a Canadian citizen there is couple things to consider before you proceed.

First know the requirements needed to see if you qualify to apply for citizenship. The requirements to obtain Canadian citizenship are the following:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have permanent resident (PR) status
  • Physically present as a permanent resident in Canada for at least 1,460 days (4 years) out of the 6 years on day of applying
  • Know basic English or French
  • General knowledge about Canada’s history, geography, government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship to pass a citizenship test (adults 65 years of age and over are exempt)

Second, and most importantly you will need to complete Form CIT 0002e to apply for citizenship.

Third, it is important to know about Canada’s history, geography, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in order to gain citizenship status. The test will evaluate your knowledge of Canada and language abilities.

Check out Part 1 of this Quiz to help you study for common questions asked on the citizenship test.

Canadian Citizenship Practice Test

Are you ready to take the Citizenship Test?

If you are a Permanent Resident seeking to become a Canadian citizen there is couple things to consider before you proceed.

First know the requirements needed to see if you qualify to apply for citizenship. The requirements to obtain Canadian citizenship are the following:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have permanent resident (PR) status
  • Physically present as a permanent resident in Canada for at least 1,460 days (4 years) out of the 6 years on day of applying
  • Know basic English or French
  • General knowledge about Canada’s history, geography, government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship to pass a citizenship test (adults 65 years of age and over are exempt)

Second, and most importantly you will need to complete Form CIT 0002e to apply for citizenship.

Third, it is important to know about Canada’s history, geography, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in order to gain citizenship status. The test will evaluate your knowledge of Canada and language abilities.

Check out Part 2 of this Quiz to help you study for common questions asked on the citizenship test.

Despite Law, Some Canadian Immigrants Charged Employment Fees

work in canada

Despite a law banning the practice, a loophole is allowing Alberta-based employment agencies to charge some Canadian immigrants thousands of dollars in employment fees.

Alberta’s Fair Trading Act prohibits employment agencies from collecting fees “directly or indirectly” from immigrant workers; however, in what some critics see as being a significant loophole in the law, agencies are allowed to charge fees for services not considered to be “employment agency business services.” That broad-based category can often include employment-related services such as resume writing, job-skills training and immigration consulting.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), at least a dozen businesses in Alberta are utilizing that loophole in the immigration law, and operating as both employment agencies—who are not allowed to charge immigrants fees—as well as providing immigration consulting services, for which fees are permitted.

Complicating matters even more, the rules governing these practices varies wildly throughout Canada’s western provinces—British Columbia (BC), Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

While the laws applying to employment agencies are similar in both Alberta and BC, Manitoba has far stricter rules that totally ban recruiters from charging any fees. Saskatchewan’s laws are even more complex, as agencies can charge for immigration consulting with the workers’ consent, but employers must pay for any resume preparation or training that is provided.

A spokesman for the organization representing Canadian employment agencies said the members of his group have a code of ethics that prohibit charging for recruiting services. Randy Upright, national director of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS) said it is the practice of members of his organization to not offer both recruiting and resume-writing/employment consulting services.

However, Gil McGowan, the president of the Alberta Federation of Labor, is calling for changes to the Fair Trading Act, saying the law “has loopholes so big you could drive a truck through it.” McGowan is calling on the provincial government to re-write the law in order to close those loopholes, and make it more difficult for employment agencies to justify charging any fees to foreign workers seeking employment.

For its part, Alberta’s provincial government is resisting any pressure to change the law. Alberta’s Minister of Service Stephen Khan said he doesn’t agree that there are any loopholes in the existing law, and that his ministry investigates any claims by workers who believe they have been victimized by employment agencies.

Instead of changing the law, Khan said his government believes a better way to address any possible victimization of foreign workers is through greater education and public awareness.

To that end, Khan told the CBC that his ministry is doing its best to “create messaging” as well as “public awareness” in order to ensure that people—including foreign workers—“know what their rights are when it comes to these (employment) issues.”

Critics Call For Changes To New Canadian Immigration Law

Canadian Citizenship

Only a few weeks after its initial implementation, a growing number of critics are calling for changes to the new Canadian immigration law known as Express Entry.

In the first round of the Express Entry system, a total of 779 candidates were selected at the end of January to participate in the program; that number represented about 26 percent of the 3,000 applications the government accepted for the initial Express Entry draw.

Under the Express Entry program, candidates are assigned points based upon their age, education, professional qualifications and successful completion of a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A full half of the required 1,200 points in Express Entry are assigned based on attaining an LMIA. Under the LMIA system, employers are required to show that foreign applicants for Canadian work visas can prove that they possess skills in demand, and are filling a position that no Canadian is available to fill.

Although the January selection of candidates marked the first draw from the ‘pool’ of Express Entry applicants, the percentage of those accepted was seen by many as being rather low, and could be indicative of problems with the LMIA program. Toronto immigration lawyer Sergio Karas explained that LMIAs are “incredibly difficult to get…laborious and time insensitive and complicated” for Canadian employers to obtain.

The Express Entry program requires employers to successfully complete a two-step application process in which foreign applicants’ names are entered into a “pool”, and then ranked against other candidates under consideration for permanent residency based on the number of points assigned to them.

Over 10,000 foreign workers applied for the first round of Express Entry, with only 3,000 candidates being selected for the initial pool of names.

While critics of the Express Entry program expressed concern about its initial implementation, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said he was pleased with the program’s first round of applications. Alexander cited the fact that all Express Entry candidates had “valid job offers” and were “highly skilled”, and he believed that meant that they were more likely to successfully integrate into Canadian society.

Among the criticisms of the Express Entry system is also its alleged lack of transparency. Mario Bellissimo, past president of the Canadian Bar Association’s immigration section, said the fact that the number of Express Entry applicants is not fixed but is instead a “moving target” means the program lacks transparency, and will likely call into question “the integrity of the (whole) system.”

A second Express Entry draw of applicants’ names was conducted in early February, and an additional 779 candidates were selected at that time. Under the rules of Express Entry, successful candidates must respond within 60 days of notice; those candidates not selected will remain in the pool for an additional six months, and will be entered into future draws.

The federal government is expected to conduct between 15 and 25 Express Entry draws during the current calendar year.

Canada Considers Ending Automatic Citizenship For Babies Of Non Citizens/Residents

The Canadian government may end its longstanding policy of providing citizenship to Canadian-born babies of non-citizens or residents of the country.

According to media reports, Canadian immigration officials are recommending that the Conservative government consider ending the practice of offering citizenship to babies born to non-citizens or residents, even though the number of children affected would be relatively small and the costs insignificant.

It’s estimated that of the 360,000 births taking place in Canada each year, only about 500 of those babies were born to foreign nationals.

When the Canadian government overhauled its immigration laws earlier this year, the “birth on soil” provision—the law providing citizenship to babies born in Canada to non-citizens—was initially unchanged. One reason for that may have been the cost.

The internal immigration report suggesting the change to “the birth on soil” law explained that, despite the small number of children affected, there would be significant costs associated with changing the law. That same internal government document, obtained by Canadian media through Freedom Of Information laws, states that changing the ‘birth on soil’ law would have “significant costs” that might be difficult to justify to the public in a time of government deficits.

For his part, Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander acknowledged that the issue of so-called “anchor babies”—wherein non-residents or citizens of Canada have a child in the country so that child can later sponsor them for citizenship when he turns 18—is of concern to the federal government.

The Conservative government  has said it’s strongly opposed to so-called “birth tourism” resulting in so-called “anchor babies”. Currently only Canada and the United States have policies providing for birth on soil citizenship.

Unlike the U.S. and Canada, other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and most of Europe only provide citizenship rights to children born to parents who are either permanent residents or citizens.

Almost 20 years ago, the previous Liberal government gave serious consideration to removing the birth on soil Canadian citizenship provision, however a strong public outcry of opposition forced that government to back down.

Janet Dench, a spokesperson for the Canadian Council For Refugees, said her organization strongly opposes changing the birth on soil citizenship provision.

“Citizenship by birth in Canada is an important part of the Canadian identity, and makes us a better society,” Dench said.

Canadian Government Claims Citizenship Wait At Two-Year Low

Canadian LandingDespite vocal opposition and legal challenges to its recent immigration reform, the Canadian government is crediting that new law for a steep decrease in the backlog of citizenship applications.

The government says its “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”, or Bill C-24, is directly responsible for the drop in wait time for citizenship applications. The government also says the new law is helping to expedite the processing of applications for Canadian citizenship.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), one of the reasons the citizenship application wait time is at a two-year low is the increase in the number of “decision makers” assigned to review applications.

The CIC is also predicting that fast-tracking the citizenship applications will mean that by 2015 or 2016 the processing time for Canadian citizenship applications will be less than one year, and that the current application backlog will be reduced by 80 percent.

As part of the new citizenship law, the Canadian government has also introduced other significant changes in the administration of citizenship applications. The changes include additional CIC authority to deny incomplete applications, and a “uniform system” for judicial review of all citizenship applications.

As part of its annual budget, the Canadian government has also allocated an additional $44 million over two years to help ensure expedition of citizenship applications.

In the new immigration law, the Canadian government dramatically increased the number of individuals responsible for review of citizenship applications; prior to the new law, there were approximately 30 citizenship judges, compared to the new level of more than 450 “decision makers” reviewing citizenship applications.

With a federal election all but certain to take place in 2015, the Conservative government is hoping that its immigration track record will be seen in a positive light. For example, the CIC points out that Canada has the highest rate of naturalization in the world, with over 85 percent of eligible residents achieving Canadian citizenship.

In addition, since the Conservatives took power in 2006, Canada has welcomed more than 1.3 million new citizens. Last year, the CIC received 333,860 citizenship applications, a level that the government says is the highest volume ever recorded.

New Canadian Citizenship Law Passes Amid Controversy, Complaints

New Citizenship LawDespite widespread opposition, threats of lawsuits and questions regarding the law’s constitutionality, Canada’s federal government has passed its sweeping new citizenship law.

Bill C-24, titled the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, has been steeped in controversy since it was first introduced in parliament several months ago. While the Conservative government claims that the bill clarifies and adds value to Canadian citizenship, critics say it turns citizenship into a privilege rather than a right, and that it may end up establishing second-class citizens within Canada.

Critics of the new citizenship law include Amnesty International and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, which is taking legal action against the government in an effort to block the new law.

The new immigration law contains several changes to Canada’s citizenship rules, requiring lengthier residency in Canada, and greater proof of the intention of would-be citizens to actually live in Canada upon receipt of their citizenship. Under the previous law, citizenship applicants had to live in Canada three out of the previous four years; under the new law, applicants will be required to live in Canada 183 days for four out of the prior six years.

Changes in the new law also mean that all citizenship applicants age 14 to 64 will be required to take both a knowledge and language test; under the old law, the age group for those tests was 18-54 years old.

But the most controversial element of the new citizenship law is the revocation power that it provides the government; under Bill C-24, the government now has the power to revoke the citizenship of dual citizens found guilty of treason or terrorism, even by foreign courts. The immigration minister will also have the power to revoke the dual citizenship of anyone found to have fought against Canada in a foreign army.

As expected, high profile civil rights attorney Rocco Galati filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Constitutional Rights Center against the government, asking the federal court to invalidate key provisions of Bill C-24. Galati is a recognized powerhouse in Canadian legal circles, having recently successfully sued to block an appointment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Canada’s Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, on July 1st, Canadians marked this year’s Canada Day, a national holiday celebrating the country’s birth. Across the nation, hundreds of people took the oath of citizenship, for the first time under the auspices of the recently passed Bill C-24. Some, however, also expressed concern about whether they will have the full citizenship rights of native-born Canadians.

Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Soheili Hashemi was one of 28 new Canadians sworn in on Canada Day in Halifax, Nova Scotia. An Iranian by birth, Hashemi expressed the opinion of many critics of the new bill saying she was concerned that the revocation powers in Bill C-24 are “against the human rights laws of Canada”, and that the law is “not good for immigrants, and not good for Canada.”

Canada Welcomes More than 35,000 New Citizens in January, February

Canadian Citizenship

Canada welcomed 35,000 new citizens in the first two months of 2014 —twice as many as in the same period last year.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), more than 19,200 new Canadian citizens were sworn in this February, almost double the amount of new citizens welcomed one year earlier. In January, over 16,000 new Canadians were awarded citizenship, also nearly double the amount of one year earlier.

Over 200 swearing-in ceremonies—conducted in gymnasiums, government offices and hotel conference rooms—were held across the country in February to welcome the new Canadian citizens.

CIC cites increased efficiency and a decrease in the overall backlog of citizenship applications as two of the reasons for the dramatic jump in the number of new citizens sworn in. The government is also predicting that its recently introduced immigration reform—the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act—will further reduce processing time for citizenship applications by as much as one year.

CIC is predicting the new immigration law will help to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications by more than 80 percent by 2015-2016.

Last year, nearly 130,000 individuals were granted Canadian citizenship.

The brisk pace for welcoming new Canadian citizens so far this year is in keeping with the recent years’ trends. Since 2006, Canada has sustained its highest ever levels of naturalization, with an average of 257,000 newcomers each calendar year. 2013 was a record-breaking year for Canadian immigration, with CIC receiving 330,860 applications for Canadian citizenship.

Canada Fast Tracks Path To Citizenship For Military Members

Canada military

Service in Canada’s armed forces could mean a fast track to citizenship for Permanent Residents thanks to Canada’s new immigration law.

In its recently introduced Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, the Canadian government announced that in order to “recognize the important contributions of those who have served Canada in uniform” it was planning to introduce a fast-track path to citizenship for Permanent Residents with Canadian military experience.

Although it has yet to outline all details for the proposal, the Canadian government says the new fast track to citizenship for past and current military personnel with Permanent Resident status will bring Canada in line with similar programs in other Western nations. The changes will include reducing the qualifying period for citizenship for armed services personnel by one year.

Both the United States and Australia have similar immigration programs providing armed forces personnel an abbreviated path towards citizenship in each respective country.

In addition, the new immigration law states that children born to parents who are in service to the Canadian government abroad will be able to inherit their parents’ Canadian citizenship. That law will also apply to adopted children of Canadians serving their country overseas.

However, along with the fast track to Canadian citizenship offered to armed services personnel, the new immigration bill also provides greater leverage for the government to revoke the Canadian citizenship of “dual nationals”—those with dual citizenship—who are convicted of terrorism, high treason or spying offenses or take arms against Canada.

The new revocation powers would also allow the government to deny citizenship to individuals charged and convicted of those serious crimes outside of Canada, as well as convicted criminals serving their sentences abroad.

Sweeping New Immigration Law Tightens Canadian Citizenship Requirements

 

Immigrants to Canada will have to spend more time in the country, and learn to speak one of the two official languages before they can obtain citizenship as part of a proposed sweeping reform of the country’s immigration laws.

Stating that Canadian “citizenship is a privilege not a right”, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander introduced the government’s long-awaited immigration reform package that is designed to crack down on potential fraud, and requires longer residency in the country before applying for citizenship.

Alexander said the wide-ranging changes to Canada’s immigration laws are “the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977.”

Highlights of the proposed Strengthening Canadian Immigration Act include:

  • Requiring that immigrants spend four out of the prior six years residing in Canada before applying for citizenship, with no credit for prior years spent in the country (the previous requirement was three out of the previous four years). Applicants will also need to be physically in the country for at least 183 days per year, for four of those six years.
  • Applicants aged 14-64 will have to meet language requirements of either English or French (Canada’s official languages). The prior law has no language requirement.
  • Extends the ban on acquiring citizenship to individuals with foreign criminal charges and convictions. The prior to law only barred individuals from obtaining Canadian citizenship if they had prior domestic criminal charges and convictions.
  • An increase in penalties for fraudulent applications in addition to greater authority to refuse applicants for fraud. Under the new law fines related to fraudulent citizenship applications jump from $1,000 and/or one year in prison, to $100,000 and/or five years in prison.
  • Requires adult citizenship applicants to file Canadian income taxes in order to be eligible for citizenship. Under the previous law, no such requirement existed.
  • Puts in place an authority for revocation of Canadian citizens who hold dual citizenship and are members of an armed forces or armed group that is in conflict with Canada, as well as the ability to revoke or deny Canadian citizenship to those actively involved in terrorism or related offenses.
  • Creation of a new fast-track mechanism for Canadian citizenship for permanent residents serving with the Canadian Armed Forces

While Canada’s Opposition Parties have expressed some doubts about aspects of the proposed new immigration law, the Conservative government’s parliamentary majority in the House of Commons makes passage of the bill seem quite likely.