What are the language requirements for Canadian citizenship?
English and French are the official languages of Canada. You must know enough of one of these languages to take the Canadian citizenship test. (1) This means you need to be able to speak and understand spoken English or French, or be able to read and write in simple English or French.
If you are an adult (18 to 54 years of age) and you want to apply for Canadian citizenship, you must take a written test that has multiple-choice questions about Canada.
The test questions are based on the information in the study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship (2). After you apply for citizenship, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will send the study guide to you with a letter that confirms that CIC received your application.
Citizenship classes are offered by English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, community centres or settlement agencies across the province. Many organizations that have English classes also have citizenship classes. To find an organization in your community, visit a Community Information Centre (3) near you or dial 2-1-1 from your telephone to speak with a representative.
You can also take practice tests online by visiting the CIC website.
After you take the test, a citizenship judge will look at the results of your test. If you do not pass the test, the judge will give you an oral interview. During the interview, you are expected to show listening comprehension or understanding of basic spoken statements or questions and the ability to respond to them by speaking or in writing, in English or French.
Citizenship application forms are available online and can be downloaded from the CIC website. You can also have one mailed to you by contacting the CIC Call Centre:
Toll-free: 1-888-242-2100 (within Canada)
Outside Canada: Call the Canadian embassy or consulate responsible for your region.
For more information:
(1) Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) - Acceptable language proof to apply for citizenship:
(2) Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) - Citizenship Test and Study Guide:
(3) Community Information Centres:
(4) CIC Help Centre - A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters:
(5) CitizenshipCounts.ca - A study tool website, iPhone and Android app: