Top Tips – Canadian Citizenship Test
Seeking Canadian Citizenship?
1. Don’t apply for Canadian Citizenship until you have reached the 1095 days residency (3 full years). One candidate who took the Canadian Citizenship test the same day as myself, was called out by the interviewing officer that he had submitted his application in advance, but post dated the signatory page. He was referred to a Citizenship Judge, but it was made clear to him that he risked disqualification and would need to start the application process from the start. Check if you’re entitled to apply using the residency calculator on the CIC website.
2. When completing the application ensure you check its completeness and accuracy. On the day of the test, each candidate is called up to an immigration officer and any discrepancies or inaccuracies are reviewed with you. The most prevalent was the completeness of your travel since arriving in Canada. The officer reviewed each of the stamps in my passport to the listing I had provided in the application.
3. When the Government says it is going to take 18 months to process they mean it. If you are concerned that your package may have gone missing, it is worth calling the processing office and confirming its receipt. You will probably not hear formally on your application for several months.
4. On the day of the test (16 months after applying for me) make sure you take all the relevant documents that you included in the original application. They are very strict, especially as it relates to your original landing documents. There were several applicants referred to the Citizenship Judge for forgetting their documents, resulting in further delays to their application.
5. Do not underestimate the Canadian Citizenship test, even a Canadian who has lived all their life in Canada would need to review the Discover Canada Guide. I discovered that completing a variety of the practice tests in the book, online and using an iPad application really helped. One of the main subjects is ‘voting’, and it’s worth ensuring you fully understand the voting system in Canada.
6. Do not confuse the time you need to answer the exam with how long you will be at your test appointment. If your exam starts at 9am, be prepared to attend for up to 3 hours. The appointment broke down in to three areas, i) A Citizenship Officer reviews everyone’s application ii) You are constantly being monitored to determine the level of your language skills, especially when you are reviewing your file and, iii) The test itself. Therefore, make sure you leave plenty of money in the parking meter, as the tickets in a federal parking lot are for some reason higher.
7. Check your answers. I was able to breeze through the exam in 10 minutes. However, when I checked the answers the first time, I had for several of the questions responded incorrectly because I had put the answer in the wrong answer box. I encourage you to take the time to check your answers, no matter how confident you feel.
8. You can expect to wait a month or so before you hear of your invitation to a Canadian Citizenship ceremony. My understanding is that if you failed the exam you are called for an interview or invited to complete another test.
9. On the day of your Canadian Citizenship Ceremony (18 months after applying for me) you can invite your family and friends to join you. This was a piece of information I could not find anywhere, and while one would assume it was okay it was not answered anywhere. You have a designated seat with your fellow celebrants and your family and friends will be invited to sit in the surrounding seats. Once again make sure you have original application documents including; your landing form, permanent residence (“PR”) card and your photo identification. You will hand in your PR card as you enter the courtroom.
10. Your family and friends can video and take pictures during the ceremony which last approx two hours. The only exception is there being no filming or photography during the Oath.