The Process for Applications Received On or After May 04, 2013
Applicants would need to demonstrate that they meet or exceed the thresholds prescribed by the Minister for proficiency in either English or French. They would need to demonstrate that they are proficient in each of the four language skill areas. The four language skill areas typically include:
- Listening and,
In their application for permanent residence, applicants would need to specify the language that officers need to consider as their first official language in Canada i.e. English or French. This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R75 (2) (d).
The foreign national would need to:
- Specify which official language the officers could consider as being the individual’s first official language and similarly, which official language the officers could consider as being the individual’s second official language
- Have an organisation or institution assess their proficiency in their first and second official languages
- It is worth noting that this organisation or institution must have the relevant designation specified by the provisions mentioned under subsection 74 (3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
- This assessment will remain valid for a period of two years from the date on which the relevant authorities issued it
The individuals would receive points for proficiency in the English language based on the results assessed. The assessing authority would need to assess the proficiency of these individuals based on the benchmarks outlined in the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Similarly, the individuals would receive points for proficiency in the French language based on the results assessed. The assessing authority would need to assess the proficiency of these individuals based on the benchmarks outlined in the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens.
It is worth noting that the officers will consider the language test results as conclusive evidence of the applicant’s language proficiency. In short, they will not even consider any other written evidence.
The officers would need to assess the application. Thereafter, they would need to award the applicant up to a maximum of 28 points for official language proficiency as highlighted below. This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R79 (3).
- A maximum of 24 points for proficiency in the first official language identified by the principal applicant in the application for permanent residence
- If the officers find that the applicant’s proficiency meets the thresholds prescribed by the Minister, they will award the applicant with four points per language skill area
- This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R79 (3) (a) (i)
- If the officers find that the applicant’s proficiency exceeds the thresholds prescribed by the Minister for that language skill area by one benchmark level, they will award the applicant with five points per language skill area
- This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R79 (3) (a) (ii)
- If the officers find that the applicant’s proficiency exceeds the thresholds prescribed by the Minister for that language skill area by at least two benchmark levels, they will award the applicant with six points per language skill area
- This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R79 (3) (a) (iii) AND,
- A maximum of four points for proficiency in the second official language if the applicant’s proficiency meets or exceeds Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 5 in each of the four language skill areas
- This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R79 (3) (b)
- It is worth noting that in some situations, the officers might find that the applicant does not meet Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 5 in one or more of the language skill areas
- In this scenario, the officers will not award any points to the applicant for second official language proficiency
- The applicant would need to submit original language test results from a designated testing agency of their proficiency in that language along with their application
- Only then would the applicant be able to claim points for proficiency in their second official language
- This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R79 (2)
- The authorities have expressly mentioned this requirement in the application guide
- Therefore, applicants would need to note that they would not receive any further opportunities for providing official language test results at a later date during the process
Source: Citizenship and Immigration
A surprising new internal government report has found that those immigrants who have been in Canada longest are the ones most likely to fail the citizenship test.
The citizenship test is one of the last steps completed by immigrants wishing to obtain full citizenship rights as a Canadian, including the ability to carry a Canadian passport and to vote. The citizenship test was redesigned in 2012 to promote newcomers’ awareness of Canadian history, values and culture.
In recent years, the government has made reforms not only to the test, but also other citizenship regulations in an attempt to strengthen loyalty to Canada and promote successful integration. In addition to the revamped test, the government’s most recent proposed changes include raising residency requirements so that immigrants must wait longer before applying for citizenship.
However, the findings of the departmental report are troubling this idea in suggesting that length of time living in Canada does not correlate to a better grasp of Canadian history and values – at least as exhibited in standardized tests.
This has led some immigrant advocates to question what the government understands about what it means to be Canadian. Is there really a way to test newcomers on how Canadian they are?
Since the redesigned test was introduced, more immigrants are failing the exam overall. People who have been in the country longer are less likely to write the test, and therefore less likely to pass. New arrivals, generally, are more motivated to gain full citizenship and are therefore more likely to take the test and to do well on it.
Applicants from South Korea and China were found most likely to do well on the test. Those taking the test in the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were also most likely to do well.
Failing the citizenship test is the top reason for rejection of citizenship applications, followed by failure to prove language proficiency, and not meeting the residency requirements.
Source: Toronto Star
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard selected Dr. Yves Bolduc to head the Education department about a week ago. Dr. Bolduc, a general practitioner from Alma, thus becomes Quebec’s latest Education Minister. Unsurprisingly, he expressed his hope that the government would make education a priority as good health was a by-product of good education.
In a sit-down interview to Global News, the new Education Minister said, “The priority of the government should be education, because if you go to school, you’re going to have a good job and you’re going to be less sick.” In an attempt to kick-start his attempts to make education become a key focal point for the government, Dr. Bolduc met with several education workers, as he detailed his priorities.
One of those priorities is to focus on improving the standards of English teaching in schools. During his interview, Dr. Bolduc declared that he backed the concept of military families retaining their access to English schools. He also mentioned that he had shelved the PQ’s plans of re-writing the history curriculum and filling it with more nationalist content. In addition, he expressed his willingness to meet Quebec’s Anglophone community to discuss the feasibility of English schools teaching more French.
Dr. Bolduc said, “I always thought it’s very important for our children to learn English, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want them to be good in French. We want people to be good in French and we want them to have a second language, even a third language.”
Dr. Bolduc’s plans and priorities have triggered warning signals at the Quebec School Board Federation. President Josée Bouchard realises that budget cuts are imminent and that they would have repercussions on student services.
Similarly, Dr. Bolduc’s plan to continue to index tuition fees, as part of his responsibility for Higher Education, has also earned the ire of students from I’ASSE. ASSE spokesperson Benjamin Gingras said, “Indexation is a tuition fee increase and we will fight it, doesn’t matter who’s in charge of education.”
Dr. Bolduc believes that the system is sick, but he is also aware that overnight changes seldom yield results. With four and a half years before him, he knows that he would need to make the system better for students and teachers alike. Only then, would they be able to lead healthier and more fulfilled lives, thereby contributing to the country’s success and prosperity.
Source: Global News
Immigrants in Nova Scotia are concerned about problems with their citizenship language forms, according to a new report from CBC.
Mitra Naseh is one such immigrant from Iran who currently lives in Halifax and is in the process of applying for citizenship. She knows the language requirements, and obtained the necessary forms from Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.
The minimum language requirement is a 4, while Naseh says she submitted forms showing that she has reached level 8. Still, her application was rejected, citing lack of proof of language sufficiency.
“The worst thing is that everybody is confused,” Naseh said, pointing out that she is not the only one in her circle facing this obstacle.
In fact, local English as a Second Language teacher Anne Kelly has heard of several similar problems faced by her students, and has been writing letters of support in hopes of bolstering their citizenship applications.
“It’s also making the other students nervous or anxious about sending in their applications,” says Kelly.
Though many have tried to contact CIC to clarify the requirements, they say they have been told merely to re-submit, with no further explanation or clarification on these decisions.
Language programs across Saskatchewan are expanding to meet increased demand after recent influxes of immigrants to the region.
Programs such as the language centre at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) are expanding their services to accommodate high numbers of newcomers to the quickly growing region. This particular centre will serve not only to aid newcomers in language learning, but also as a testing centre, as English proficiency exams grow increasingly important in the immigration process.
Over the past several years, the Saskatchewan economy has been propelling growth in the region, attracting record numbers of newcomers. Since 2007, the Western prairie province has welcomed nearly 50,000 newcomers. Experts predict continued growth in the coming years, with a projected 60,000 increase in the workforce by 2020.
“In order to achieve these goals it’s going to mean attracting and retaining new immigrants to Saskatchewan, and that means as a province we need to help and provide opportunities to everyone that’s coming here,” said Advanced Education deputy minister Louise Greenberg. “We’ve endeavoured to create programming that helps the newcomers socially and economically integrate into our fabric of Saskatchewan.”
In order to help with this integration process, the language centre at SIAST will undergo $100,000 in renovations. The new services are aimed at keeping newcomers in the province, so that they do not need to travel or relocate to find the help they need.
Source: Regina Leader-Post