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Changes to citizenship language requirements | Local | News | Portage Daily Graphic

Feds announce changes to citizenship language requirements 3

By Robin Dudgeon, Portage Daily Graphic
Monday, October 1, 2012 1:33:20 CDT PM

Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced Friday that there would be changes to language requirements for citizenship. Applicants must now provide objective evidence of their language ability when applying, which comes into affect Nov. 1, 2012. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

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Requirements for Canadian citizenship have changed following an announcement, Friday, that applicants must not only meet language requirements but provide objective evidence of their language ability.

Citizenship Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that the changes will take affect on Nov. 1, 2012.

“Extensive research has consistently shown that the ability to communicate effectively in either French or English is a key factor in the success of new citizens in Canada,” said Minister Kenney in a press release. “We believe it is important that new citizens be able to participate fully in our economy and our society.”

Currently, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) assesses the language ability of applicants aged 18–54 solely through interactions with CIC staff and by using the results of the citizenship knowledge test. While no changes will be made to the proficiency required new requirements will change the way that applicants demonstrate their language ability.

Under the old rules, there was no objective way to test language abilities of applicants. Under the new rule, applicants must provide objective evidence that they meet the language requirement, achieving the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking and listening, when they file their application.

Acceptable evidence could include: the results of a CIC-approved third-party test; evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or evidence of achieving the appropriate language level in certain government-funded language training programs.

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