Canadian citizenship revocation is a serious and complex matter with life-changing consequences. Losing citizenship can lead to the loss of permanent residency, deportation, and significant disruption to an individual’s life and family.
Depending on the reasons for revocation, an individual who loses their citizenship may also risk losing permanent residency and potentially undergo deportation from Canada. If you or a family member is confronted with the possibility of citizenship revocation and want to challenge this decision, seeking legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer is crucial.
Why can the Government revoke Canadian citizenship?
If Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) believes that you got your citizenship by giving false information or hiding important facts on purpose, they can start a process to take away your citizenship. This means that you might lose your citizenship if you were not truthful about how long you lived in Canada or didn’t tell them about a criminal record.
Recently, the government made changes to the Citizenship Act. When the new rules are in effect, CIC will also be able to take away citizenship from people believed to be involved in terrorism or treason against Canada.
What happens if my Canadian citizenship is revoked?
Any person with revoked Canadian citizenship is prohibited from being granted Canadian citizenship for 10 years from the date of the revocation of their citizenship as per paragraph 22(1)(f) of the Citizenship Act.
A person whose citizenship was revoked cannot be granted a resumption of citizenship as per paragraph 11(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act.
What is the process for Canadian citizenship revocation?
Step 1: Initial Investigation by CIID
The process for Canadian citizenship revocation begins with an initial investigation by the Compliance Inspections and Investigations Division (CIID) of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This occurs when there are suspicions of false representation, fraud, or the knowing concealment of material circumstances related to Canadian citizenship.
Step 2: Referral to SECD for Special Cases
If the case involves security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality, it is referred to the Security and Exceptional Cases Division (SECD) for further assessment.
Step 3: Review and Decision by CPCD
The Citizenship and Passport Cases Division (CPCD) reviews the gathered information and decides whether to initiate revocation proceedings. If the decision is made to proceed, a non-statutory request for an information letter is sent to the individual.
Step 4: Issuance of Non-Statutory Request for Information Letter
The non-statutory request for information letter notifies the individual that IRCC is considering the formal commencement of revocation proceedings based on information suggesting fraudulent acquisition of Canadian citizenship. The individual has 30 days to respond, including providing information about personal circumstances that may warrant special relief.
Step 5: Review and Determination by CPCD
After receiving the individual’s submissions, the Minister’s delegate in CPCD reviews and determines whether to close the file or issue a notification letter to initiate the revocation process formally.
Step 6: Issuance of Notification Letter
The notification letter, required by the Citizenship Act, outlines specific grounds for revocation, provides the individual the right to make written representations within 60 days, and explains the process, including the option to have the Minister or the Federal Court as the decision-maker. It also includes a form for the individual to indicate their choice of decision-maker. You may want the Federal Court to be the decision maker.
Step 7: Consideration of Personal Circumstances
The individual can present personal circumstances during this phase, which are considered in light of the overall case, including factors like participation in fraudulent activities, age, time spent in Canada, ties to the country, health issues, and other potential impacts of the revocation.
Step 8: Consideration of Best Interests of a Child and Statelessness
The best interests of a child directly affected must also be considered, especially if the child is under 18 years old at the time of revocation proceedings. Statelessness is another factor, but Canada’s international obligations do not prevent citizenship revocation, even if it results in statelessness.
Step 9: Final Decision by Federal Court
The final decision is rendered by the Federal Court, if chosen by the individual or deemed necessary, or by the Minister. If the Federal Court decision certifies a severe question of general importance, an appeal can be filed with the Federal Court of Appeal. Similarly, if the Minister revokes citizenship, the individual may apply for leave and judicial review with the Federal Court.
What can I do if I think my Canadian citizenship will be revoked?
Facing the possibility of Canadian citizenship revocation can be a daunting and stressful experience. However, individuals in such a situation have rights and options.
- Seek Legal Advice:
One of the most crucial steps is to consult with a legal professional experienced in immigration and citizenship matters. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer can assess your case, provide guidance on the potential risks, and help you understand your rights.
- Gather Evidence and Documentation:
Collect all relevant documents and evidence that can support your Canadian citizenship revocation case. This may include proof of your identity, residency, and other factors contributing to your citizenship’s legitimacy and your establishment in Canada.
- Respond Promptly:
If you receive a notice of citizenship revocation, respond promptly and by the provided instructions. Failure to respond within the specified timeframe may negatively impact your case.
- Cooperate with Authorities:
Cooperate with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) during investigation procedures. Provide accurate, credible, and transparent information to demonstrate your commitment to resolving the issue.
- Understand the Grounds for Revocation:
Familiarize yourself with the specific grounds for citizenship revocation outlined in Canadian law. This will help you address the concerns raised by immigration authorities effectively.
- Prepare for an Appeal:
If a decision is made to revoke your citizenship, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Federal Court of Canada. Be prepared to present a strong case during the appeal process, and consider seeking the assistance of Canadian immigration lawyers.
- Stay Informed:
Keep yourself informed about updates and changes in immigration laws and policies. Regulation changes may impact your case of Canadian citizenship revocation, and staying informed can help you make informed decisions.
- Maintain Good Conduct:
Demonstrate good conduct and adherence to Canadian laws and values. Positive behavior can be a factor in your favor during the revocation process.
Learn about the process of PR card renewal to ensure a smooth and timely renewal of your status in Canada.
Trusted Support for Your Citizenship Revocation Appeal!
At Chaudhary Law Office, we understand the challenges associated with the Canadian citizenship revocation process. Our skilled immigration lawyers are committed to helping you build a strong case during the appeal process.
We can assist you in navigating the complexities of the legal procedures on your behalf. Our expertise and personalized approach protect your rights, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.
Contact us at 416-447-6118 today for expert guidance from an immigration lawyer!
Can Canadian citizenship be revoked?
Canadian citizenship can be revoked under specific circumstances outlined in the Citizenship Act.
Can I lose my Canadian citizenship if I live abroad?
Physical presence in Canada is not the sole factor for retaining Canadian citizenship. However, if a person commits fraud or misrepresentation during the citizenship application and is living abroad, their citizenship may be subject to revocation.
How long can a Canadian citizen be out of Canada?
There is no specific duration outlined in the Citizenship Act regarding how long a Canadian citizen can be out of Canada. Canadian citizens are generally free to live abroad for extended periods.
Can a naturalized citizen lose Canadian citizenship?
Yes, naturalized citizens can lose Canadian citizenship if they obtain citizenship through false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances.