Ask for what you'll need at your interview and for your test

What happens after I send in my application for Canadian citizenship?
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Ask for what you'll need at your interview and for your test

When you apply for citizenship, you can say on the application form if you need "accommodation". This means asking for what you need so you're treated equally.

For example, most people take the citizenship test in writing. But you can ask to have a citizenship officer ask you the questions. And then you say your answers out loud. One reason you might want to do this is because it's hard for you to read and write in English or French.

Or at your interview, you might need:

  • a room that you can get your wheelchair into
  • your service dog to come with you
  • a sign language interpreter

These are just examples. You can ask for what you need to make the process fair for you.

And you can ask Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for accommodation, even if you didn't ask on your citizenship application form. 

Asking for a waiver

If you're between 18 and 54 years old, to become a citizen you're supposed to:

If you can't do either or both of these things, you can ask Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a "waiver" that says you don't have to.

You can ask for a waiver for what the law calls “compassionate reasons”. For example, you might not be able to meet the requirements because you:

  • have a medical condition that affects your ability to learn
  • never had a chance to go to school
  • never learned to read and write so learning what you need to know for the citizenship test is more difficult for you
  • have learned to read and write in a language that uses a script very different than English and French
  • find it difficult to take tests because of trauma

If you're asking for a waiver, it's a good idea to get legal help.

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Reviewed: October 9, 2018

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