Canadian Citizenship Test
|This article is part of a series|
|Immigration to Canada
History of immigration to Canada
Economic impact of immigration
Canadian immigration and refugee law
Immigration Act, 1976
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Permanent Resident Card
|Canadian nationality law|
|History of nationality law
Citizenship Act 1946
Oath of Citizenship
|Citizenship and Immigration Canada
"Canadians of convenience"
|Demographics of Canada|
Population by year
The Canadian Citizenship Test is a test, administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), that is required for all applicants for Canadian citizenship who are aged between 18 and 54 and who meet the basic requirements for citizenship. The test is available in both French and English, the official languages of Canada.
Content of the test
The test contains questions drawn from a pool of around 200, and is based on the content of the official guide "Discover Canada (The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship)". The test asks questions on the following subject matters:
- Rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen - (e.g. "Name three legal rights protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.")
- Canadian history - (e.g. "Who were the United Empire Loyalists?")
- Canadian political systems - (e.g. "How are members of Parliament chosen?")
- Canadian physical and political geography - (e.g. "Where are the Parliament buildings located?")
- Specific questions about the applicant's region - (e.g. "What is the name of the premier of your province or territory?")
Canadian values, such as democracy, gender equality, and human rights, are much more emphasized in this new edition. Canada's native roots and population are also much better portrayed.
The test also assesses language abilities. In order to pass the test, the applicant must understand simple statements and questions and communicate simple information to CIC staff in either French or English.
On March 15 2010, a new and more thorough test was introduced. This test is based on a longer 63-page guide called Discover Canada. This gives immigrants a richer picture on Canada's history, culture, law and politics. At the same time, immigrants are required to memorize more facts for the test.
The failure rate on the citizenship test has been low until recently; in 2008, approximately 4% of the 145,000 test takers failed.
However, the failure rate for the new citizenship test is much higher. When it was first introduced on March 15, 2010, the failure rate rose to 30%. Later on, a reworked version of the test introduced on October 14, 2010 brought the national failure rate down to around 20%, but the rate was still significantly higher than that of the old test.
When the applicant meets the standard of 15 correct answers and the citizenship judge deems that the applicant meets all requirements for citizenship, the applicant will either be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony within six months or receive a residency questionnaire requesting further evidence of living in Canada.
If the English or French language requirement is in doubt for the applicant then a hearing with a Citizenship judge is scheduled.
The applicant is required to swear or affirm an oath and will be presented with a Citizenship Certificate.
Should the applicant fail to meet the standard, he or she will be scheduled for a second time to take the multiple-choice written test. Should they again be unsuccessful they will be required to have an 15 to 20 minute interview with a citizenship judge. The judge will ask the applicant 20 questions that may be multiple choice, true or false or question and answer. The judge will assess whether or not the applicant has correctly answered 15 questions and demonstrated the necessary knowledge to be granted citizenship. In 2008, approximately 20% of the interviewees were refused citizenship.
- "Section 15 of the Citizenship Regulations now specifies that applicants are required to have sufficient knowledge of a broad range of topics, the inclusion of mandatory questions in the citizenship test is no longer in effect since October 14, 2010".(http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2011/ob244B.asp)
- The citizenship test Citizenship and Immigration Canada, cic.gc.ca. Retrieved on: November 18, 2007.
- Citizenship Test: Questions Citizenship and Immigration Canada, cic.gc.ca. Retrieved on: November 18, 2007.
- Keung, Nicholas. "Learning to be a citizen: Newcomers study hard to pass citizenship test with questions on rights, history, government." Toronto Star. October 19, 2009. Available at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/712232--learning-to-be-a-citizen. Accessed on: January 31, 2010.
- Beeby, Dean (November 29, 2010). "Massive failure rates follow new, tougher Canadian citizenship tests". Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 January 2011.