New Language Testing May Be on the Way for Immigrants to Canada

Government announces new language testing requirements

A notice was published in the Canada Gazette this past weekend asking for comments on the government’s intention to require immigrants to Canada to pass new language testing. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, applicants who are between 18 and 54 years of age will have to prove they have “mastered” the English or French languages.

The Canada Gazette is essentially the Canadian Government’s own newspaper, where they put various notices out to the public on a variety of government business.

The change offers options for immigration applicants who do not want to pay for language testing, such as having completed their education in one of the official languages as an alternative. According to the Gazette, listening and speaking may also be tested.

“The ability to communicate effectively in either French or English is key to the success of new citizens in Canada,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in a public statement. “This change will encourage applicants to ensure that they can speak English or French when they apply for citizenship, thereby improving the integrity and effectiveness of the citizenship program for Canada and for new Canadians alike.”

How do you feel about the possibility of new language testing requirements for immigrants to Canada? What about those who may be unable to read or write in English or French, but have an excellent grasp of spoken English or French?

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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