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What happens if you fail the test?

Canadian Citizenship Test stamp failed

Canadian citizenship test – You can rewrite the test

As of June 3, 2013, you will be informed of your Canadian citizenship test result immediately after taking it. If you failed the test, but you have met all the other citizenship criteria, you will be given a date to rewrite the test. Your test will usually take place 4-8 weeks later after your first test, but be aware the delay might be longer. If you need to prepare for this second test, read our article: new Canadian citizenship test – how to prepare for it?

Canadian citizenship test – Interview with a citizenship officer

If you fail the citizenship test a second time, you will be scheduled to appear for an interview with a citizenship officer. The interview will give the officer a chance to find out whether or not you meet all the requirements to become a Canadian citizen.

You may have to demonstrate to the officer an adequate knowledge of Canada and of your rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen. So study again the “Discover Canada” guide. Read it several times, ask a friend, family member or colleague to ask you questions about it.

You may have to demonstrate to the officer your residency requirement. That means that the officer might ask you leases documents, tax documents, maybe even bank statements, to support your case. Basically you have to prove to the officer that you were physically present in Canada when you say you were present in your citizenship application. Physical presence means having been in Canada for at least 1460 days in the six years immediately before the date of your application. This is important. Physically present means what it means, you must have had your two feet on Canadian ground. Time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident (within the six year period) does not count. You can only count time after you became a permanent resident of Canada. Don’t forget that the officer has to approve your case, there’s no other way. The officer might ask you for every single proof of your stay in Canada, so bring all the documents that support your application. While the officer is not there to trick you or bring you down, you do have to take this interview very seriously, and the officer might be very detail-oriented and might want to check every single document.

Just as for your Canadian citizenship test that was only in French or English, there is a language requirement. You may have to demonstrate to the officer an adequate knowledge of English or French. You have to show the officer that you can understand basic spoken questions and basic statements, and that you can communicate basic information. Again the officer is there to make sure you do have basic communication skills. So if you think you don’t, maybe you could sign-up for some ESL classes (English as Second Language, you might have heard this term already).

If you do meet the physical presence requirements and you all the documentation to support it, if you do have basic language skills (French or English), and if you do know your the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen (from the Canadian citizenship test study guide), then you should be well-prepared for this interview. Always check Citizenship and Immigration website for any further questions, or simply to check that they are not any important updates to this process.

Good luck with your interview!

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277 replies on “What happens if you fail the test?”

  1. Hi,

    I failed my citizenship on the first attempt, what’s the pattern of the second attempt? will it be the same as a written test or will an officer take my exam?

    1. Hi Noor,

      IRCC will arrange for you to take another test if you still meet the criteria for citizenship. The second test is the same format as the first test.

    1. Hi Musarrat,

      If you does not pass the second test, IRCC will send you a notice telling you to appear for a hearing with a citizenship officer. During this hearing, the citizenship officer may assess whether you meet all the requirements for citizenship.

      We also recommend that you contact IRCC to help you with your inquiry.

      Here is the IRCC contact information.
      Contact by phone:
      Call the IRCC Call Centre (1-888-242-2100), from within Canada only, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm local time, except for statutory holidays).
      Prepare to wait on hold for some time. Try calling early in the morning or use a speakerphone.
      Contact online:
      IRCC web form
      https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/web-form.asp

  2. Hello. My mother failed here test the second time. What should do now. Do we need to write any emails or will they contact us regarding the interview

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