Published September 28, 2012 | 10:11 am
Ottawa:Would-be Canadians will be required to submit substantial proof of how well they speak English or French beginning this November.
Applicants will have to submit results of a government-approved third-party language test, show they’ve finished high school or post-secondary education in English or French or prove they’ve received an appropriate level of language education via government-funded training programs.
Most citizenship applicants will soon be required to provide up-front objective evidence of their language ability at the time they apply, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
This change will be implemented as of November 1, 2012. 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.
“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. “We believe it is important that new citizens to be able to participate fully in our economy and our society.”
The Citizenship Act already requires that applicants be able to communicate in one of Canada’s official languages. This regulatory change will not increase the language level required but will change the way that citizenship applicants aged 18-54 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/Niveau de competence linguistique canadien 4 in speaking and listening, when they file their application.
Immigration experts feel South Asian immigrants, who have language problems would be largely effected by the new rules .