The pandemic has forced Canada to make significant changes to the immigration process. The new Canadians who could not participate in a swearing-in ceremony because of the COVID-19 crisis might soon have the chance to take the oath in ceremonies that will be organized online.
Why were the ceremonies postponed?
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the temporary cancellation of citizenship ceremonies and tests over two months ago when Canada enforced special measures to combat the global pandemic. The government had stated then that all the events would be rescheduled soon but had not provided a fixed date. The prospective immigrants affected by the cancellations would be given a new date and time in the near future.
The newcomers who were all set to become Canadian citizens officially could not participate in the ceremonies because COVID 19 social distancing rules necessitated the postponement. However, it is possible that they will be able to take their citizenship oath now virtually.
The Canadian federal government made a statement to CBC News saying that the process of implementing virtual citizenship ceremonies ongoing, and they are trying to produce results as quickly as possible. The initial online ceremonies will target people with “a pressing need for Canadian citizenship,” as well as the candidates whose ceremonies had to be canceled because of the special measures. They were already scheduled to take the oath and hence will be prioritized.
According to the IRCC, virtual citizenship events will be held without compromising the integrity of the legal process. Under normal circumstances, a person is required to take a solemn oath in front of a judge or citizenship official along with other immigrants in order to become Canadian citizens. After the oath of citizenship, the applicants will have completed the final legal requirement for becoming Canadian citizens.