Do Immigrants Know Canada Better Than Those Born In Canada?

The Ottawa Citizen ran a story recently which stated that immigrants to Canada know the country better than those born here due to the immigration test they are required to take.

More than 2,300 people were polled this fall by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies for a year-end report that explores respondents’ perspectives on Canada’s history, including how they assess their own command of the subject.

About 82 per cent of survey respondents who identified themselves as being born outside of Canada claimed to have “very strong” or “somewhat strong” knowledge of Canadian history. In contrast, only about 70 per cent of respondents born in Canada rated their historical knowledge strong or very strong.

Notably, nearly twice as many immigrant respondents (27 per cent) as born-in-Canada citizens (16 per cent) described their history knowledge as “very strong.”

ACS executive director Jack Jedwab suspects the reason immigrants are more likely to claim a solid command of Canadian history is that they have – in many cases quite recently – been required to familiarize themselves with highlights of the country’s past as part of the process of gaining citizenship.

Becoming a Permanent Resident in Canada is an involved process, including preparation for a citizenship exam. Here is some more information that might be useful:

What You Need To Know About Permanent Residence in Canada

  • Permanent residence is NOT temporary status such as when you apply for a Visitor Visa, Work Permit or Study Permit.
  • These are temporary visas that limit your stay in Canada for a certain period of time and severely restrict what you can and cannot do.
  • Permanent residence has some limitations however. As a permanent resident you do not carry a Canadian passport, and there are certain residency restrictions imposed.

The article goes on to say that Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the direction of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, revised and updated the 63-page Discover Canada citizenship guide last year to underline the need for newcomers to learn about Canada’s past.

The department also raised the passing grade for the 20-question test to 75 per cent, from 60 per cent, and implemented a random-scramble system to ensure no two tests are identical and thus subject to copying and memorization. Last December, Kenney argued that the changes wouldn’t prevent earnest newcomers from passing the citizenship test.

 We reject completely, the condescending notion that new Canadians aren’t smart enough to learn some basic facts about the country’s history and values.

The survey results suggest that immigrants are quite confident in their knowledge of Canadian history.

If you would like us to take a look at your case, call our Ottawa law office at (613) 482-0991 or fill out the form here, and provide us with some of your immigration information, and we will get back to you.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.