Citizenship and Immigration Canada has taken a series of steps to improve the citizenship immigration process. Overall, these changes mean a faster road to obtaining Canadian citizenship.
The Federal Government has announced that it will invest $44 million over 2 years to put towards the improving the Canadian citizenship process as part of the Economic Action Plan 2013. These funds will help Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to deal with a growing demand for citizenship grants and profiles, and assist in working through the existing backlog of applicants.
“We know that newcomers look forward to acquiring their Canadian citizenship and we are committed to helping qualified applicants acquire this privilege in a timely manner,” said Minister Kenney. “Together, these measures combined will result in faster processing of citizenship applications.”
As of June 3rd 2013, Canadian citizenship applicants will have a chance to rewrite the citizenship test in the case they fail their first one. Those who are unsuccessful but have met all other criteria will be provided with a rewrite date for the knowledge test a few weeks later.
Moreover, the offer to rewrite the citizenship test will be extended to applicants currently waiting to see a citizenship judge due to previously failing the test. Previously, after unsuccessfully executing the, test applicants had to wait months for an appointment with a citizenship judge to resolve the issue. They will now be informed immediately following the test of their results and successful applicants will be scheduled for a citizenship ceremony.
“The Government of Canada remains committed to maintaining Canada’s tradition of high numbers of permanent residents taking up full citizenship, and this is one of many recent improvements that have been made to the citizenship process to ensure the timely welcoming of new citizens,” said Minister Kenney. “Since 2006, Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent, with Canada averaging approximately 200,000 new citizens each year.”
Another step taken towards improving the citizenship process is allowing successful applicants process their application independent of family members who they jointly applied with. This means that all family members waiting on the results of their joint application no longer need to be simultaneously approved. Previously, if one family member failed a knowledge or language test, the entire family was help up from obtaining citizenship. By allowing successful applicants to proceed with their citizenship application, less people will need to wait for their applications to be reprocessed and the application backlog will decrease.
Lastly, the federal government has significant increased the number of citizenship judges. Therefore, more decisions will be made on citizenship applications. Since the beginning of the year, 8 additional citizenship judges have been appointed.
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