Stop Citizenship Bill Language / Knowledge Test Amendment



Urgent - Act Today!

The Canadian Senate has adopted a motion to amend Bill C-6 (the Citizenship Bill) to increase the requirement of language and knowledge test for citizenship from age 55 to 60.

The Bill is almost at the final stage of becoming law, but is yet to receive final approval in Parliament.

Contact your Member of Parliament today and ask them to reject the language amendment.

To learn more about the amendment and what you can do to stop it, please read the following:

Strengthening Citizenship

As community organizations and groups from across Canada we believe that citizenship strengthens our society by promoting the integration of newcomers.

In the spirit of encouraging more Canadian residents to become citizens, we call on our members of Parliament to remove barriers to citizenship by rejecting the motion by Senator Diane Griffin (Prince Edward Island) to increase the age for language and knowledge proficiency from 55 to 60 years of age.

The Senate approved Senator Griffin’s proposed amendment on April 6, 2017, thus reducing access to citizenship to potentially thousands of people.

Senator Griffin incorrectly believes that citizenship applicants can get a waiver from the knowledge and language requirement simply by showing they have made genuine efforts to learn the language. But that is not the case. A waiver is granted only if an applicant has a permanent and/or cognitive impairment. The amendment will result in the denial of citizenship rights to those who face barriers in acquiring a second language – such as new Canadians who came as refugees, immigrant women who were sponsored by their spouse, individuals with literacy issues and many others who will have to wait until they are 60 to apply for citizenship. 

Bill C-6 was introduced with the intention of making citizenship accessible to as many people as possible. The language amendment will reduce that access to many and should not be allowed to stand.

We call on all Members of Parliament, to reject the amendment to C6, thus removing a significant barrier and allowing more people to have access to citizenship.

  • Afghan Women’s Organization
  • Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies
  • Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
  • Canadian Arab Federation
  • Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies
  • Canadian Council for Refugees
  • Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
  • Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto
  • Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change
  • Council of Agencies Serving South Asians
  • CUIAS Immigrant Services
  • Envision Education Foundation
  • Inter Clinic Immigration Working Group
  • KCWA Family and Social Services
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre
  • London Cross Cultural Learner Centre
  • London Employment Help Centre
  • Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
  • North York Community House
  • OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Quinte Immigration Services
  • Reception House Waterloo Region
  • Skills for Change
  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
  • South Asian Women's Centre
  • South Asian Women's Rights Organization
  • VWAT Family Services
  • Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre
  • Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women
  • Women's Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
  • Working Women Community Centre

Please act today by:

  1. Endorsing this statement – send us your organization name, contact person name and email
  2. Sharing this call for action widely with your networks
  3. Call your MP today! Click here to find your MP and contact information. Please let us know so we can keep track – email