Will Canada Attend to the Huge Citizenship Application Backlog?
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Will Canada Attend to the Huge Citizenship Application Backlog?

Austin Campbell

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With coronavirus gripping the world in its terrifying clutches, it has become impossible for countries to function normally. Many countries that had to shut down operations early in the year to bring the situation under control are still reeling from the effects and trying to catch up. 

Canada is no exception. While the pandemic has slowed down in the country and the infection rates have been low for a while, Canada is yet to resume all the services that it had put on hold back in March. Immigration and Citizenship have suffered exponentially this year as application processing has been delayed drastically. 

Demonstrations in the country 

Many citizenship-applicants are now frustrated with the current state of things and the federal government’s inability to handle the application backlog. There are thousands of people who are being kept from becoming Canadian citizens and using the benefits that come with it. IRCC was forced to shut down all citizenship events- tests, interviews and ceremonies- so as to deal with the pandemic. 

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On November 7, the Advocates for Resumption of Canadian Citizenship Tests organized demonstrations in Montreal and Toronto to get their message across. The next demonstration is going to take place on November 28 in Ottawa. This group came into being as a force against the immense backlog in applicants who are due for a test or a ceremony.

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Current state

IRCC had said that the citizenship test could be held online in the future but that plan is yet to materialize. While some in-person testing options have opened up now, it is not enough to cater to the over 85,000 candidates who have to take the test. IRCC began hosting virtual citizenship ceremonies back in April but the numbers are still down.

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