What is the Canadian Citizenship Test?
The Canadian citizenship test is the official test held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as part of the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of Canada.
The citizenship test tests your knowledge of Canada and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens.
You may also be required to attend an interview after the test as part of the process, where you will be assessed on things such as your English or French language skills.
Note that due to COVID-19, you may be asked to take your citizenship test online instead of in person. You will receive more details about how to take your test from IRCC after you receive your invitation to take the test.
Who Needs to Take the Canada Citizenship Test?
You will need to take the Canadian citizenship test if you’re between the ages of 18 and 54 on the day you sign your application for citizenship.
If you’re 55 or over on the day you sign your application, you will not need to take the citizenship test, although you will have to attend an interview.
You may also have to attend an interview if you’re either:
- A minor under 18 and you’re with a parent applying at the same time
- A minor under 14 without a parent applying at the same time
If this applies to you, you will only be asked to attend an interview if IRCC have specific questions they need to ask you as part of the application process.
If you’re a minor aged between 14 to 17 without a parent applying at the same time, you will have to attend an interview.
What Type of Questions Are on the Citizenship Test?
The citizenship test assesses your knowledge about the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens, as well as Canada’s:
The citizenship test is not used to assess your English or French language skills. Instead, this will be done in the interview after the test, if you’re required to take one.
The Canadian citizenship test questions are based on the ‘Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship’ study guide. All the test questions will be drawn from the information in this guide.
The guide is free to obtain and comes in a variety of formats, including MP3, ebook, PDF or as a paper copy.
The Discover Canada website also has free online practice tests that you can use to prepare for the test in advance.
How is the Canadian Citizenship Test Scheduled?
You will be contacted by IRCC with an invitation to take the citizenship test within a few weeks after you receive your acknowledgement of receipt letter during the citizenship application process.
You will then receive more details about the date, time and location about one to two weeks before your test.
You may be able to change the date of your scheduled citizenship test if you’re not able to attend. To do so, you will have to contact the local office that sent you the notice, or use the online web form to contact IRCC on their official website.
You must give a valid, reasonable reason as to why you need to change the date of your test. Note that IRCC may stop processing your citizenship application if you try to change the date of your test without a valid or reasonable reason.
You will be notified by email or by letter if your test date has been successfully changed.
What Do I Need to Bring to the Canada Citizenship Test?
You will need to bring the following with you when you go for your citizenship test:
- The Notice to Appear you received asking you to take the test
- Your permanent resident card (if you have one)
- Two pieces of personal identification
- All your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form
- A certificate, diploma, degree or transcript that proves your English or French language skills (if you were 18 to 54 years of age when you signed your application)
- Other documents IRCC may ask for in your “Notice to Appear” letter
One of the pieces of personal identification you bring with you to the test must show your photograph and signature, such as a driver’s licence or health card. In addition, any foreign ID documents must be government-issued (with the exception of Canadian ID documents, which don’t need to be government-issued).
If your personal identification is in a language other than English or French, you must provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator.
What to Expect When You Take the Canadian Citizenship Test
The Canadian citizenship test:
- Can be taken in English or French
- Is 30 minutes long
- Has 20 questions in total
- Is made up of both multiple-choice and true or false questions
You will need to answer at least 15 questions correctly to pass the test.
Only the person taking the test will be allowed to enter the testing room.
The test is normally written, but you may be given an oral test in certain situations, such as if you have difficulty reading English or French. Oral tests are given by citizenship officials at special hearings. Some of these may take place on the original test date, but others may be scheduled for four to eight weeks after the original test date.
You should also contact the office that gave you the notice if you require any special provisions for your test, such as:
- Wheelchair access
- Sign language interpretation
- If you need to be accompanied by an attendant such as a seeing eye dog or sighted guide
- If you need the test to be in an accessible format such as braille, audio or large print
After Your Citizenship Test
After you complete the test, you will meet with a citizenship official for your interview.
During this interview, the official will:
- Give you the results of your test, if you had one
- Check your language skills, if you’re between 18 and 54 years of age
- Verify your application and original documents
- Ask any questions IRCC may have about your application
- Ensure that you meet all the requirements for citizenship
If You Pass Your Canada Citizenship Test and Interview
You may be given a time and date for your Canadian Citizenship Ceremony at the same time as you’re given the test results.
If you’re not given this information at this time, you will receive it in a letter or email at a later date.
If You Don’t Pass Your Canada Citizenship Test
If you don’t pass your first citizenship test but still meet the other requirements for citizenship, IRCC will schedule you for a second test. This will normally be four to eight weeks after your first.
If you don’t pass your second test, you’ll receive a notice to attend a hearing with a citizenship official. This hearing:
- Will last 30 to 90 minutes
- May be in person or by videoconference
- May be used to assess one or more requirements for citizenship, for example:
- Knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship
- English or French language skills
If you don’t pass the test after three tries, your application for citizenship will be refused. However, you will be free to apply for citizenship again at any time after this.
If you are asked to attend an interview, but applied for citizenship with your family by sending your applications together, your application will be processed separately from your family’s unless you specify that you wish them to be processed together.
The Canadian citizen test is part of the process where IRCC will assess your suitability and eligibility for Canadian citizenship.
It’s therefore important to ensure that you go into it well-prepared and feeling confident in order to take one more step into becoming a fully-fledged naturalized Canadian citizen.
Total Law can help with this process. We are experts in Canadian law who can assist you in obtaining Canadian citizenship—from establishing your eligibility before applying, to gathering your documents, to helping you through the test and interview process. We can help you prepare and revise with a citizenship practice test, as well as answering any questions or concerns you might have about the process.
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