My citizenship application was refused. What can I do?

Apply again and ask for a waiver

The general rule is that, to become Canadian citizens, people between 18 and 54 years old must show that they:

If you can’t meet either or both of these requirements, you can ask Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a .

Asking for a waiver

Asking for a waiver means that you ask IRCC to excuse you from one or both of these requirements for “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 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

Getting legal help

It’s very difficult to get a waiver. So if you want to ask for one, it’s important to get legal help.

Community legal clinics give free legal advice to people with low incomes. Your local community legal clinic may be able to help you apply for a waiver. 

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