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A New Way for Ontario Residents to Prove Language Proficiency

Ontario residents seeking to become Canadian citizens now may satisfy the language requirement of the process with certificates of completion from the province’s Adult Non-Credit Language Training Program. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that the Ontario provincial certificates would be accepted as of Jan. 30, 2014, as proof that candidates have gained sufficient language ability for citizenship.

In making this announcement, CIC has expanded its list of acceptable provincial sources for proof of language facility. Ontario now has joined British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec on that list.

In addition to the provincial completion certificates, the CIC accepts proof of language ability through passage of a variety of CIC-approved third-party tests, proof of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, or passage of the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) course.

‘Adequate Knowledge’ of English or French

The Canadian government considers it essential that its citizens have “adequate knowledge” of either English or French, the nation’s two official languages. According to the CIC, this means that you can understand other people when they speak to you and they can understand you. The goal of the various tests and programs to measure language ability is to ensure that those who pass are able to communicate successfully in order to better enjoy their neighborhoods and communities and contribute to them. Language skills also improve residents’ employment opportunities.

Language Ability is ‘Key to Successful Integration’

In announcing the acceptance of the Ontario Adult Non-Credit Language Training Program certificate as proof of language ability, Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, took the occasion to laud Canada’s emphasis on language as a key to national strength. “Becoming a Canadian citizen comes with certain rights and responsibilities and a readiness to participate in Canadian society,” he said. “Our government believes that the key to successful integration is the knowledge of an official language. We are proud to add Ontario language training certificates to our list of accepted evidence, which will now provide Ontario applicants with another option to demonstrate that they meet the language requirements for Canadian citizenship.”

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