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Language Proficiency Rule to be Changed

The Canadian government wants to change the way language proficiency is tested for those who apply to become citizens.
In a gazette Notice of Intent issued, Citizenship and Immigration Canada – the federal department in charge of immigration issues – says that in future it would like applicants to prove their proficiency in either of the two official languages – English and French – when they submit their citizenship application.
At present, language proficiency is tested during the citizenship application process. It is tested through the 20 multiple choice questions. If the applicant fails the test, then he or she has to appear before a citizenship judge to answer questions.

How to Prove Proficiency

But under the new proposals, applicants will have to prove, upfront, their fluency through one of the following three methods:
  • The results of a third party test
  • Evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, or
  • Evidence of achieving the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens level 4 (both these organizations set Canadian standards for language proficiency).
The CIC says that this is not an increase in the level of language proficiency, but rather change the way language proficiency for applicants between the ages of 18 to 54 is assessed.
The change has not become a rule, and the CIC wants public input. Those interested in expressing their views can do so within the next 30 days by accessing the contact information through this site.

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