Applicants for Canadian citizenship are facing bigger hurdles and mysterious delays.
Based on personal experience, I know that one of the happiest moments for every Canadian immigrant is the day they become Canadian citizens.
Citizenship applications take long to be finalized; and even much longer if the processing officer discovers some mistakes in your application.
Do you know that in 2014, Canada welcomed more than 260,000 new citizens? This figure represents the highest number of new citizens in any other year in Canada’s history.
However, despite this record number of new citizens, not all applicants were lucky. Some applications submitted several years ago have still not been approved.
Recently an applicant informed me that she submitted an application back in 2013, many months later; she was contacted by the Citizenship Department, with a note that she had miscalculated the dates of her residency in Canada; plus a request to complete a Residence Questionnaire; and to provide additional documentation to prove her residency.
Another applicant, a British citizen, with over 20 years of Canadian residency, complained to me that his citizenship application was returned twice with a note saying that his landing documents were not readable; and requesting him to provide clear and legible copies.
There are several reasons why your citizenship application can be returned or delayed. The question is: what should you do in such situations? How can you be sure that your next application will not be returned?
Some Tips When Applying for Canadian Citizenship:
The Application Form: When filling out the forms, answer every question. Ensure to calculate your residency correctly. If answers on your application are considered incomplete by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), your application may be returned or denied. If you do not have an answer to a question, and there are no instructions for it on the form, write “not applicable” (N/A) in the space provided. If your answer to a question will not fit in the space on the form, add your full answer on a separate sheet of paper.
Canada’s Official Languages: English and/or French: Ensure you are proficient in one or both languages. Upgrade your English or French if you have to; and make sure to include supporting documentation.
Your Citizenship Test: Approved applicants need to score a minimum of 15 points out of 20. You must take your citizenship test seriously. Study hard, and don’t leave it until the last moment.
Your Supporting Documents: Organize your documents and ensure they are easily available: job letters, education, property, marital certificates, etc. Supporting documentation that is well organized and presented nicely will make it easier for the officer to review; and that will boost your chances of success.