Why are more immigrants failing the Canadian Citizenship test?

Canadian Citizenship test final step to becoming a Canadian Citizen

According to this Globe and Mail article, more and more immigrants are failing the Canadian Citizenship test. Canada welcomes about 170,000 new Canadian citizens per year, and Canadian Citizenship differs from permanent residency because citizens can hold a Canadian passport and vote in elections.

The test was changed in 2010 to require higher scores and emphasize language proficiency. But according to the Globe article, whether or not someone is able to pass the rest can depend greatly on their country of origin.

For example, the average failure rate three years ago for the Canadian Citizenship test was four per cent. Last year, it was about 15 per cent. The language proficiency part of the test seems to be the most difficult part for many immigrants because it’s weighted differently in the current test. Less than two per cent of people born in English-speaking countries such as England or the United States failed in 2011, while about half of those born in Afghanistan failed.

In the new test, applicants must get 15 of 20 questions correct to pass while in the previous version, they only needed 12. In addition, they are verbally questioned about Canada to determine their language abilities.

If you are planning on taking the Canadian Citizenship test soon, it’s vital that you focus on language proficiency in order to have the best chance for success. Check out our tips for How to Meet the Citizenship Test Requirements here!

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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