Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced today that in order to facilitate access to for citizenship, as of January 30, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be accepting certificates from citizenship for Ontario applicants who complete Ontario’s provincial language training program (as proof of their language ability). Applicants for citizenship must provide evidence of language ability such as results from third party tests, academic certificates, and certificates from government-funded language training programs. Ontario’s provincial Adult Non-Credit Language Training Program will now also be accepted as proof that citizenship applicants meet the necessary language knowledge requirements.
CIC considers the ability to speak English or French as a key determinant in how well a newcomer will succeed, integrate into his or her community and find employment. Since the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947, adult citizenship applicants have been required to demonstrate an adequate knowledge of English or French in order to be eligible for citizenship. Currently, the Canadian Language Benchmarks / Niveau de compétence linguistique canadiens (CLB/NCLC) are the nationally recognized benchmarks to measure proficiency of adult immigrants in both official languages, and the required level by CIC is CLB 4 in both speaking and listening skills.