Has Canada Citizenship Testing Online Resumed?

Posted by in CIC News, on November 27, 2020

Canada is now making the test available online after eight months after all citizenship tests were cancelled.

Canada has started to offer citizenship tests online after the Covid-19 pandemic forced to stop the testing in March.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is testing the new platform over the next few months. Therefore, during the same time, online citizenship tests will first be available to those whose tests were cancelled earlier because of the pandemic and those who were on the waiting list.

IRCC will be inviting more citizenship applicants to use the platform after performance monitoring proves it works reliably. More people are to be invited to take the test in 2021, CBC reports.

Test-takers will have to confirm their identity through personal information, and take a photo of themselves and their ID documents with a webcam before the test begins.

Citizenship applicants will be given 21 days to complete the test, at a time that is convenient for the applicants.

The system will take photos of participants during the test, which is a process that has been used to monitor other tests that have moved online during the pandemic such as bar exams, and law school admissions tests.

IRCC has been working on modernizing the citizenship program before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a media release. Online testing was already a part of this initiative.

What will the test format be like?

Just like the in-person tests, online tests will have twenty questions and participants will be given 30 minutes to complete the same.

IRCC said that people will not be required to reach them, those invited to take the test online, or their representative, will be notified by email.

There is also the option for the applicants to wait and take the test in-person, but no date has yet been set for resuming that process.

85,000 or more people waiting for citizenship test

As of September 7, approximately 85,000 applicants were waiting to take the citizenship test, according to IRCC data.

The backlog in citizenship applications was the impetus for the group Advocates for Resumption of Canadian Citizenship Tests, who held demonstrations in Toronto and Montreal in early November. Among one of the group’s calls to actions was the resumption of citizenship tests.

In a statement to CIC News, the group called the online testing initiative “a step in the right direction”. However, the question arises whether or not it will be sufficient to address the needs of tens of thousands of applicants in a timely manner.

As part of the Citizenship Act, all citizenship applicants between ages 18 to 54 must demonstrate knowledge of Canada in order to become citizens. Prior to 1994, this process was done by interview, which is still the case for applicants over age 55.

Canadian citizenship gives all the immigrants the right to vote and get a Canadian passport. It also gives many people a sense of belonging, and security in the country.

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