Canadian Citizenship Revocation
Canada Citizenship Immigration Application and Refusal Revocation
Naturalised Canadian citizens can lose their Canadian citizenship if they obtained it by fraud either in the citizenship application process or in the process of obtaining their permanent residence. Those suspected of having obtained their citizenship by fraud will be given due process before their citizenship is revoked. This would mean, at a minimum, notice of the allegations against them and disclosure of the evidence against them, and an opportunity to respond to the same orally or in writing before a final decision is made. The process will be initiated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, but the final decision whether to revoke citizenship or not will be made by the Federal Court.
Latest Changes to the Citizenship Revocation Process
On Feb 5, 2018, the IRCC effected Bill C-6 which brought about significant changes to the citizenship revocation process. Any individual facing possible revocation can now choose to have the case heard and decided by the Federal Court or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. This move is aimed at enhancing fairness in the citizenship revocation process by giving individuals a chance to have their case heard by an independent judicial body.
How Citizenship Revocation BeginsBefore initiating revocation proceedings the Citizenship Authorities will typically send them a “Request for Information Letter” setting out the allegations against the citizen in concise form and providing them with 30 days to respond. Based on the response, the Citizenship Authorities will decide whether to begin the formal process of revoking citizenship.
What Revocation Process Includes?The revocation process now includes an additional step where the IRCC officials will review all the submitted cases and decide whether to continue with the proceedings or forward it to the Federal Court for a decision to be made. Individuals who prefer to have the immigration minister decide the case can later request the Federal Court to review the minister’s decision. One of the factors that the IRCC has to decide is whether despite any fraud or misrepresentation in the citizenship process, whether there exist personal circumstances that warrant not revoking citizenship, including the best interests of any child affected by the decision, and whether the decision could render the citizen stateless. Previously, the immigration minister was the decision maker for citizenship revocation cases that involved false representation and fraud. The Federal Court mostly handled cases that involved fraud and knowingly concealing material circumstances related to organized crime, rights violation, and security. With these new changes, the Federal Court will now be the decision maker for all citizenship revocation cases unless the individual requests for the case to be heard by the minister.
The Effect of RevocationThe effect of revocation will depend on where the fraud was. Those who perpetrated a fraud in the citizenship application process will lose their citizenship and revert to being permanent residents. However, those who perpetrated a fraud in the process of obtaining their permanent residence will lose both their citizenship and their permanent residence and will revert to being foreign nationals, or in some cases, will be rendered stateless. Those who lose all status will then be subject to removal proceedings. More changes are expected to be enforced later in 2018 including authorizing citizenship officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents. Additional changes are being recommended to Bill C-6 to further improve and protect the rights of citizens in the revocation process. If you are going through citizenship revocation process and need the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, contact Matthew Jeffery.
What Should I Do If My Immigration Application Is Refused?
If your immigration application has been rejected by the immigration authorities, it is important to explore your appeal options immediately. This is because there are strict time limits on when an appeal can be submitted.
An appeal to the Federal Court must be initiated within 15 days from the day the decision is received in writing in the case of an application refused from within Canada, and 60 days for a decision made at a visa office outside of Canada. “Received in writing” means that either the applicant or the applicant’s representative has received a written decision, whether that be by mail, fax, email or other means. The 15 or 60 days runs from the date the decision is actually received, not the day the decision is dated.
Some cases should be appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), and not to the Federal Court. These are generally cases that involve Canadian permanent residents or citizens, such as sponsorship appeals and residency appeals. Most appeals to the IAD must be initiated within 30 days, except for residency appeals which should be initiated within 60 days of receipt of the decision.
For citizenship refusals, an appeal to the Federal Court must be made within 30 days.
Contact our office if you receive an immigration refusal and we can tell you which court you should be appealing to and within what timeframe. Our office can also assess your case and tell you our opinion of your appeal chances. Each case turns on its own facts and must be assessed individually to determine the chances of success. If we believe that you have a viable case, we can assist you with your appeal including filing the appeal on your behalf and representing you throughout the appeal process.
The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery, Barrister and Solicitor, has years of experience assisting clients with all types of citizenship matters. If you need help with your citizenship case.
Please contact us for further information.