Effective immediately, applicants for Canadian citizenship who fail the citizenship test will now be granted a second opportunity to pass.

In order to acquire Canadian citizenship, Canadian permanent residents must meet a number f requirements, including sitting and passing an exam on Canadian culture and history. Previously, individuals who failed the test were required to wait for months in order to appear before a citizenship judge, who would then make the final decision on their case for Canadian citizenship. Now, applicants who fail will be given a second opportunity to write the test two weeks later.

Individuals who failed their test and are currently waiting to be heard by a citizenship judge will also be given the option to take the test again.

“The Government of Canada remains committed to maintain Canada’s tradition of high numbers of permanent residents taking up full citizenship, and this is one of many recent improvements that have been made to the citizenship process to ensure the timely welcoming of new citizens,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “Since 2006, Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent, with Canada averaging approximately 200,000 new citizens each year.”

Another improvement that has been made to the citizenship process involves allowing family members to be approved at separate times. Previously, family members who apply together for citizenship have been held up because a single family member has failed the citizenship test. Now those who pass can individually obtain citizenship.

The Government of Canada has also approved the addition of more citizenship judges, with eight being appointed this year alone.