Canada citizenship: Self-administered online oaths proposed

As Ottawa seeks to shorten the processing time for citizenship applications, new Canadians may soon forgo the citizenship ceremony and have the option to take the oath online.

The federal government is seeking public feedback on proposed amendments to Canada’s citizenship rules that would allow applicants to take the citizenship oath through a “secure online solution without the presence of an authorized person.”

according to policy analysis statement Featured in the Canada Gazette, the addition of the option to take the oath online without escorts cuts processing time by three months, helping applicants obtain citizenship sooner.

Additionally, the analysis statement notes that citizenship ceremonies are typically held during working hours and last about 90 minutes, making self-administered citizenship swearing-in a more convenient option for new Canadians. said it is possible.

“Many clients have to take time off from work to attend civil rights ceremonies, but this time off is not always paid for by their employer,” the analytical statement said.

“The proposal will also benefit customers by promoting inclusivity by increasing the flexibility of customer service and allowing citizenship declarations to be made in the most convenient way within the allotted timeframe. will bring.”

Since 1947 oath of citizenship This is the final step to naturalization as a Canadian citizen. That includes standing before a Citizenship Judge and swearing allegiance to the King and all his heirs and his successors while swearing to abide by the laws of Canada.

When COVID-19 first struck in 2020, Canada began allowing virtual citizenship ceremonies to be held over videoconference calls.

Federal officials said there was a backlog of 358,000 citizenship applications as of October 2022, with applicants waiting 24 months from the time they applied to take the oath.

Self-administered online affidavits are not required under this proposal. New Canadians still have the option to take the oath of citizenship the traditional way, in person or through a live video conference call, before a judge.

But not everyone is in favor of the proposal, including former Citizenship and Immigration Minister Christopher Alexander.

Alexander tweeted on Monday, “By abandoning the centuries-old feature of Canadian citizenship, this government will create a unique position to protect Canada’s democratic institutions, national security, defense and the rule of law.” At best, it will further undermine the shaky commitment.”Night.

But Stephen Mullens, a Vancouver-based immigration attorney, says that if self-administered online affidavits can speed up the process, they could be a good option, especially for those whose permanent resident card is about to expire. He said it could be.

“The citizenship oath is meaningful and I’m sure many will continue to do so. But if it’s true that scheduling the ceremony will take three months of processing time, the expiry date for permanent residency is Things can get complicated for people with sharp hair, so I agree that it should be an option,” he told in an email on Tuesday.

If approved, the proposal is expected to enter into force in June 2023. General members are Canadian Gazette website During the consultation period until March 27th.

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