June 14, 2024

Navigating Canadian Citizenship Applications: Insights from an Immigration Lawyer in Toronto

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has developed along the years more information and various guides to help people navigate through the various applications for permanent residence, temporary residence (visitor, work permit, study permit) and/or Canadian citizenship applications. But, though the volume of information is much better than a few years ago, the system can still be complex and confusing for many people. Therefore, seeking guidance from an immigration lawyer in Toronto is a wise decision for certain applicants. But you may ask yourselves “what may an immigration lawyer offer that is not on the IRCC website?” Here are just a few considerations to think about:

Am I eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship? One might think it is an easy process to determine whether you are eligible or not. But the reality is not that simple. We have seen many applications submitted by various people, only to be refused. This is simply because they did not consider some crucial conditions. Therefore, applicants meeting the basic requirements might not be enough, especially if there are some “snags” in the person’s history.

Aside from the regular forms that one submits, the supporting documentation to corroborate the information in the forms is essential, including how the letters are written, date of the documents, etc.

Most applicants know that the main residency requirement, to have physically lived in Canada for a certain period of time, usually at least 1,095 days out of the five years preceding the date of application is essential, but this is not the only requirement.

Knowledge of English or French is another condition for citizenship applications. The great majority of applicants between 18-54 of age must provide proof of language proficiency in English or French. The accepted standardized tests are: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program – General test (CELPIP-G), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for English, or Test d ’Evaluation de Français (TEF), Test d ‘Evaluation du Français adapte au Quebec or Test d ‘Evaluation de Français (TEF) for naturalization for French.  One of the considerations is which test should an applicant take.

Permanent residents who apply for Canadian citizenship must pass the Citizenship Test which evaluates their knowledge of Canada’s history, institutions, government, values and symbols. An immigration lawyer in Toronto may provide guidance on what to expect at the test and advise on study materials.

An immigration lawyer in Toronto may guide you through the preparation of your application, make reference to any criminal or related investigations, as IRCC will do a background check of applicants, dual citizenship situations, consequences of dual citizenship according to the home country of the applicant and review the final application to be complete, to avoid delays in processing. Many times, the application to citizenship might be time-sensitive and new or foreseeable changes in law could apply.

Also, if you have been refused, one of our immigration lawyers might suggest the best way to overcome the rejection where possible and challenge the decision to Federal Court. Therefore, using a specialized immigration lawyer may significantly increase the chances of success in being granted your Canadian citizenship.