SO You want to Become a Citizen!
Having made the move to Canada five years ago my family and I have applied for Canadian Citizenship. This is the first a an infrequent series of articles about the Canadian Citizenship Test. I am currently reading the publication "Discovering Canada - The rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship" and could not pass up an opportunity to comment.
- Thoughts of a Future Citizen
- 400 Years of Welcoming Newcomers
- The Test
- Help from the Canadian Government
Thoughts of a Future Citizen
Having migrated to Canada now more than five years ago my wife and I have given much thought to becoming Canadian Citizens. For us it marks an acceptance that Canada is our home and a part of our future. Part of our hopes and dreams.
In applying for citizenship there is a process to go through and part of that includes understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, taking the oath of citizenship, and passing the citizenship test. This article (and others in the future) are intended to focus on the citizenship test. There are some personal challenges to this, for example I know nothing about Canada's sport Ice Hockey; ouch!
400 Years of Welcoming Newcomers
Canada has been a sought after destination for newcomers for much of the past 400 years. Of course until 1777 it shared this history with its neighbour, the United States of America. Since 1777 both countries have gone their separate ways. In 1867 Canada was created with the union of three British North American colonies through an act of Confederation. At that time Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces.
The new nation of Canada was born on July 1st 1867, but the first session of the New Parliament of Canada did not begin until December 4th of that year.
Immigrants between the ages of 18 and 54 must have adequate understanding of at least one of the two official languages of Canada in order to become a citizen. These two languages are:
* English, and
Part of the immigration test will enable future citizens to become knowledgeable about the country they are becoming citizens of. The test covers Canada's history, national symbols, knowledge of democratic institutions, some of the geography of the second largest country in the world by area, as well as the rights an responsibilities of citizenship.
As an Englishman I have no language barriers to get through but this could be tough for someone who has no prior knowledge of English of French.
The citizenship test is normally a written test, but for some it could take the form of an interview. There are three main areas covered:
* Knowledge of Canada
* Rights and Responsibilities
* Adequate knowledge of the chosen language
When you pass the test you may then take the oath of citizenship. Come with me on this journey over the forthcoming weeks, what I discover I shall pass on to you all. You can also find some practice material on-line. Here are some that I have located:
* Canadian Citizenship Practice Test, by Richmond Public Library
* Canadian Citizenship Test by v.soul.com
* Test including 2011 question by APNA Toronto.
Think about what is best for you and learn the material, sadly it is one exam that has to passed in order to move on to the next stage.
Help from the Canadian Government
It is unusual to say that you should turn to your government for help. In the UK I would never advise anyone to ask the government for help answering any of their questions as most government officials have no interesting in assisting. In Canada it is different. Most government officials seem to be willing to help and many of the government web sites contain an abundance of information (perhaps too much) - take a look at their site on how to become a Canadian Citizen.
More thoughts in the next article are available here.