The immigration tests and citizenship ceremonies were put on hold in March 2020 to protect the health and safety of staff and clients, although new citizenship applications are still accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Citizenship comes with the right to vote and apply for a Canadian passport. Despite global travel restrictions, some people may still need to obtain citizenship for the employment, such as government or military jobs, or passports to travel due to social, political or financial reasons. Also many people who have already passed the tests and paid the fees expect their final step of taking the citizenship oath to provide a profound sense of belonging.
Meeting all these needs, IRCC has been offering virtual citizenship ceremonies over the last few months, as the most efficient and practical way to deal with a growing backlog of citizenship cases. Starting last week of September immigration officials have been scheduling appointments for in-person immigration and citizenship services.
With all these changes and updates many new immigrants find themselves in limbo regarding their citizenship application process. In response to multiple requests from the clients, LSP program settlement worker Claudia Montoya has recently presented an online session How to apply for Canadian Citizenship.
Clients received a guidance how to fill out the citizenship application form, to use the physical presence requirement calculator as well as detailed explanation why extra days spent abroad due to COVID-19 will not count as days in Canada.
More than 30 people attended this online workshop, and many of them also registered for the Citizenship Test Preparation 5-session virtual training started this week.