Can I Lose My Canadian Citizenship?
The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act was introduced by the former Conservative government and went into effect on May 28, 2015.
Under this Act, there are situations in which Canadian citizenship could be revoked, necessitating the services of a qualified citizenship revocation lawyer.
You can lose your Canadian citizenship if:
- You obtained your citizenship under false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances.
If you have dual citizenship, you can lose your Canadian citizenship if:
- You were convicted of terrorism.
- You were convicted of treason, high treason, or spying
- You served as a member of the armed forces of a country with which Canada is at war.
The Revocation Process
The final decision on revocation of your citizenship will be made by a delegate of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. A new amendment to the Citizenship Act has resulted in the vast majority of cases being decided by the minister, as opposed to the Federal Court.
If the minister deems there is an issue of fraud, you will receive a notice letting you know that your citizenship is under consideration of being revoked. Receiving notification that your citizenship is in danger of being revoked is a very serious matter and you should consider contacting a citizenship revocation lawyer immediately.
The next step is for the case management branch of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to review the information related to your case and then to make a ruling. You are allowed to make a written response. A hearing may be required if there is some question as to the evidence on either side. Once they have made a judgment, you’ll receive a Notice of Decision.
During the process and until a decision has been reached, you retain all the rights and privileges of citizenship. You may not, however, apply to renounce your citizenship if you’ve already been served notice of the intent to revoke your status by the Minister.
If the Minister decides to revoke your citizenship, you will no longer have the rights and privileges of Canadian citizenship, effective on the date that the ruling was made.
There are a few differences depending on what the reason for the revocation is:
- If the Minister decides to revoke your citizenship status, you will revert to permanent resident status provided the fraud was related to your citizenship application only.
- If the fraud was related to your permanent residence application, you will be void of any status in Canada, even if that means you will be considered stateless.
More serious crimes, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, terrorism, espionage, or other threats to national security, will be dealt with by the Federal Court. This also applies to citizens who were a part of a foreign military or another group that was at war against Canada.
Any time that citizenship is revoked, an appeal can be made to the Federal Court within 30 days. You should contact a citizenship revocation attorney to help with this process or any other citizenship issues that arise.