Since the Canadian Citizenship Act became effective in 1947, it has been possible to revoke a person’s citizenship based on misrepresentation. Therefore, it is important to maintain Canadian citizenship integrity.
Bill C-6, an Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017, and made the citizenship revocation provisions possible.
Below is an explanation of how and why the citizenship revocation process takes place.
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The Minister has the authority under the Citizenship Act to revoke a person’s Canadian citizenship or renunciation of citizenship if it was obtained, retained, renounced, or resumed by one of the following:
- Misrepresentation or false representation
- Committing fraud
- Deliberately concealing material circumstances
The Bill C-6 act resulted in Federal Courts deciding on citizenship revocation cases unless the person subject to revocation requests that the Minister make the decision. This rule applies to all revocation cases involving security, human or international rights violations, or organized crime.
When a person’s citizenship is under consideration for revocation due to false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances, the Case Management Branch (CMB) handles the case.
The section below explains how the investigation of initial revocation takes place.
Investigation of the initial revocation
In case IRCC suspects for false representation, fraud, or knowingly hiding material information, IRCC’s Compliance Inspections and Investigation Division (CIID) compile relevant data on potential citizenship revocation cases, including cases linked to extensive departmental investigations related to criminal investigations.
Then, The Security and Exceptional Cases Division (SECD) conducts a thorough investigation whenever there are potential security, human or international rights abuses or organized crime allegations in a case.
Next, to decide whether revocation procedures should take place or the file should be closed, the Citizenship and Passport Cases Division (CPCD) will examine the file that CIID and SECD submitted. If the CPCD decides the matter should proceed, the CPCD will send out a non-statutory request for an information letter.
Information Letter Request
The non-statutory request for information letter is sent to the person to inform them that IRCC is considering starting revocation proceedings.
It is because IRCC has information indicating that the person may have obtained their Canadian citizenship through fraud, deception, or willfully concealing material facts.
The letter offers the person the opportunity to respond in writing within 30 days of the letter’s date, including any personal circumstances that might call for special consideration.
Following the person’s response, if any, the Minister’s delegate at CPCD will review and evaluate submissions made in response to the request for information letter and decide whether or not to close the potential revocation file or issue a notification letter for the person.
Receiving a Notification Letter
The notification letter serves as a written notice to the person whose citizenship may be revoked. It formally initiates the citizenship revocation process.
The notification letter will include the following:
- Explain specific grounds and reference material on which the Minister is making their decision
- Notify the person of their rights to make written representations to explain personal circumstances, if applicable
- Inform the person that they have 60 days to provide information or relevant documentation related to the matters included in the notification letter
- Advise the person that the Federal Court will decide on their application until they request the immigration minister to decide
- Include an explanation of the Federal Court and Minister’s revocation process
If the person wants the Minister to make the decision, they must fill out and return a form that will be enclosed with the notification letter.
Lastly, anyone whose citizenship is revoked becomes prohibited from receiving Canadian citizenship for ten years from the revocation date of their citizenship.
Status of a person post-revocation
There are multiple scenarios as mentioned below, based on which post-revocation status is determined:
1) If a person’s citizenship was revoked solely as a result of false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances that occurred during the citizenship process (for example, misrepresenting their residence or physical presence in Canada during the relevant period for citizenship), the person becomes a permanent resident under subsection 46(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
2) If the person’s citizenship was revoked on the grounds that they became a permanent resident through false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances and subsequently obtained or resumed citizenship as a result of that status, the person becomes a foreign national under IRPA.
3) If the Federal Court rules that a person obtained citizenship because of a fact described in section A34 (espionage against Canada), A35 (crimes against humanity or war crimes), or A37 (member of a criminal organization), the Court may also rule that the person should be deported on grounds of security, violation of human or international rights, or organised criminality.
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