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May 8, 2018

Important Citizenship Recommendations and Requirements

Posted by Alexandra Goncharova - Bellissimo Law Group PC

IRCC’s changes to the Citizenship Act in October 2017 brought an influx of applications for Canadian citizenship, as many people who did not meet the requirements of the previous law became eligible when the amended law came in force.

The current processing time for citizenship applications is approximately 12 months. It is extremely important to update your address with IRCC if you have moved while your application is in process, as notices to appear for the citizenship test and the citizenship ceremony usually arrive to candidates by mail.

It is highly recommended to check the status of your application online regularly, especially when you are approaching the 12-month benchmark. If for any reason the letter inviting you for the citizenship test or ceremony did not arrive to your home address but the message online states that correspondence has been sent to you, you may contact IRCC and inquire about details of your test or ceremony’s date, time and address in advance, to not miss it.

The steps you should take if you missed your citizenship test will depend on whether IRCC sent you a first notice to write the test, a final notice to write the test, or a notice to re-write the test.

If this was the first time you were asked to write the test, you can either contact IRCC to let them know of the missed test and explain the reason or wait to be automatically rescheduled for another date.

  1. If you choose to inform IRCC of the missed test and the local office handling your application decides that you had a valid reason for missing the test, you will be sent another notice with a new test date. In this case IRCC will consider this new notice as another first notice in case you miss this new date, but have a valid reason for not attending. If your reason is not valid, you will be treated the same as someone who missed the test and did not contact IRCC.
  2. If you did not contact IRCC to advise of the missed test or you did not have a valid reason for missing the test, you will be automatically rescheduled for a new date and receive the final notice to write the exam. This new test date will usually be two weeks or more after the date of the test you missed.

If you received the final notice to write the test or were scheduled for a second test after failing the first one and you missed it, you must contact IRCC within 30 days of the test date and explain the reason for missing the test. If the local office handling your application decides that you had a valid reason to miss the test, you will be sent another final notice or an invitation to re-write the test with a new test date.

If you fail to contact IRCC within 30 days or your reason for missing the test was not valid, your application for citizenship may be closed. In this case you will have to apply for citizenship again and pay the required fees.

Similarly, if you missed to appear for your citizenship ceremony, you must contact IRCC within the 30 days of your appointment and explain the reason for missing it. If your reason is considered to be valid, you will receive a letter inviting you for the ceremony on a new date. If you fail to contact IRCC within 30 days or did not have a valid reason for missing the ceremony, your application for citizenship may be closed, in which case you will have to apply again and pay the required fees.