Who qualifies for a waiver
We’ll only approve a waiver if your situation meets certain criteria. On this page, we’ll explain what reasons are valid for requesting a waiver.
On this page
- Check the requirements for your age group
- Valid reasons for a waiver (compassionate grounds)
- Invalid reasons for a waiver
- Asking for more than 1 waiver
Check the requirements for your age group
Not all age groups have the same requirements for citizenship.
- Citizenship test and language requirements: You don’t need to meet these requirements if you sign your application when you’re
- under 18 (a minor) or
- at least 55 years old
- Oath of citizenship: Minors under 14 also don’t need to take the oath of citizenship.
In these situations, you don’t need to request a waiver.
Valid reasons for a waiver (compassionate grounds)
We’ll consider your reason for requesting a waiver valid if your situation meets our criteria for compassionate grounds.
The criteria for the test and language requirements are different from the oath.
Test and language requirements
Every applicant between 18 and 54 years old when they sign the application must take the citizenship test and prove their language skills in English or French.
You can request a waiver if you have a medical or non-medical situation (or both) that meets our criteria. For example:
- a severe medical condition that has lasted (or may last) for at least 1 year, including
- a serious illness
- a physical or developmental disability
- a mental impairment
- trauma due to
- living in a refugee camp
- other similar situations
- low levels of education or literacy in the first language (mother tongue)
- other situations that may justify a waiver
Oath of citizenship
Every applicant aged 14 and above need to take the oath of citizenship. This is the last step in the process to become a Canadian citizen.
An applicant only qualifies for an oath waiver if they can’t understand it due to a mental disability (like an intellectual or a developmental disability). For example, they don’t understand that taking the oath makes them a Canadian citizen.
Invalid reasons for a waiver
Time and cost aren’t valid reasons for a waiver. For example, we can’t give a waiver because of the
- time needed to study for the citizenship test
- cost of taking a third-party language test
Asking for more than 1 waiver
Depending on the situation, you can request a waiver for more than 1 requirement. For example:
- test and oath waivers
- test, oath and language waivers (all 3)
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