By CIC News |

With citizenship tests suspended as part of Canada’s coronavirus response, tens of thousands of would-be Canadians are blocked from getting a passport and the right to vote.

About 85,000 people are waiting to take the citizenship test, according to the immigration department’s data from September 7. Permanent residents need to take the test in order to get Canadian citizenship, which gives them the same privileges that Canadian-born citizens enjoy. Citizenship status is also a symbolic gesture for many immigrants that means they are now a part of the Canadian family.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said they are looking into offering online citizenship tests and interviews, but they have to consider how they would verify the identities of people taking the test and uphold the integrity of the program. They did not provide CIC News with a timeline for when this will happen, but recently announced that certain applicants will be called to do in-person retests.

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