COVID-19 IMPACTS ON CITIZENSHIP CANADA

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The impacts of COVID-19 on the economy of Canada, however, has been significantly disproportionate but it will not be wrong to say that COVID-19 has affected almost every strata of the society- from rich to poor, from higher authorities to common man, from employers to employees, from old to young, from men to women- almost everyone has been affected from the novel CORONAVIRUS in some or the other way. The pandemic has indeed harmed the progress of the society, of the common man.

These crises have however led to some metamorphosis in the system as a response. One such innovation has been acknowledged by the long-awaited Permanent Residents of Canada who has been aspiring to become Canadian Citizens. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada halted the Citizenship Tests in response to pandemic in March 2020 for almost 8 months. This pause in in-person citizenship tests have given way to the Online Testing and Virtual Citizenship Oath Ceremony. The online Citizenship tests have been resumed in September 2020 and IRCC has invited 5000 applicants as Test Cases to review and monitor the efficiency of online testing. IRCC is however planning to expand the invitations in 2021.

Applicants are asked to provide their proof of identity and to click their photograph online, when the sign-in using their application ID and Unique Client Identification Number. Applicants have to answer 20 questions in 30 minutes which is identical to the in-person tests conducted earlier before the pandemic.

Introduction of this online testing, however created an uncertainty and an unknown resistance to the change of routine in-person testing. This has created a fear of competence initially, but the applicants who willingly took a chance to take the online test believed that not only the tech- savvies but the technophobic ones should not fear this change and should not get overwhelmed. Online Citizenship Test is indeed the new trend in this COVID world.

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