For many immigrants, 2020 was a crucial year as they expected their immigration journey to come to an end after applying for Canadian citizenship. As the dates were set for the citizenship test by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), no one expected that by March everything would change. In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced the Covid-19 virus has caused a global pandemic. This led to the IRCC cutting down its operations to keep in line with the new lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
All test appointments were canceled, except a few “urgent exams”, which were held virtually. All citizenship tests were postponed until the end of November when the department was finally able to shift the test online.
What Is the Current Backlog for Canadian Citizenship Applications?
According to the IRCC, the backlog of citizenship applications grew from 87,000 people in March 2020 to 102,000 people by the start of 2021. There are also about 311,259 permanent residents waiting to go through the process for Canadian citizenship by the end of January 2021. Out of these, around 102,989 permanent residents have been waiting between 13 to 18 months and the remaining 865 applicants for more than 4 years.