Canada Resumes Online Citizenship Tests

New Online Testing Platform Only Offered to Select Applicants

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has finally made citizenship tests available online. This development comes after IRCC cancelled all in-person tests in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new online testing platform was launched November 26, and has been made available to just 5,000 people who are considered high-priority cases, along with those who had tests scheduled before the pandemic that were subsequently cancelled.

According to IRCC data, around 85,000 people were waiting to take their citizenship test as of September 7.

As the platform undergoes testing and performance monitoring over the next few months, IRCC will continue to invite more people to take their test online. Those invited to take the online test will be notified by email and do not need to reach out to IRCC directly.

Once their invitation has been received, Citizenship applicants will have 21 days to complete the test online at a time that is convenient for them.

Those who do not wish to take the test online can choose to wait for in-person testing to resume. However, IRCC has not set a date for when in-person tests  will be offered again.

How Online Testing Will Work

The online test will follow the same format as the in-person exam – the participant has 30 minutes to successfully answer 20 questions.

Safeguards will be in place to ensure those taking the test online can be properly identified. For instance, participants must confirm their identity by providing personal information, and take a photo of themselves and their Identification documents with a webcam before the test can begin.

The platform will also take photos during the test, similar to other tests offered online, such as bar exams or law school admissions tests.

By passing their citizenship test, thousands of permanent residents will be able to finally become official Canadian citizens which grants them the right to vote and obtain a Canadian passport.

A Step in the Right Direction

This announcement will be welcome news for those who have been waiting for several months to take their citizenship test, along with advocates who held demonstrations calling for the resumption of testing.

The advocacy group Advocates for Resumption of Canadian Citizenship Tests told CIC News that the new online testing platform is “a step in the right direction” but may not be sufficient to handle the tens of thousands of applicants within a reasonable time frame.