How To Appeal A Canadian Citizenship Refusal

Canadian Citizenship is the end-goal for many immigrants who come to Canada to start a new life. People who are permanent residents in Canada can apply for Canadian citizenship after a designated period, usually after they have resided in Canada for three years out of a four-year time frame. Canada Permanent Residence

Why Apply for Canadian Citizenship?

Canadian citizens enjoy rights that permanent residents in Canada do not, including being eligible for a Canadian Passport and being able to vote in Canada.

Applicants will be tested on their language proficiency and also have to attend a Citizenship ceremony.

Appealing a Canadian Citizenship Denial

Sometimes, Canadian Citizenship applications are denied for various reasons. If you have not met the required obligations with regards to your physical presence in Canada, or for any other reason, your application can be denied. Mistakes can happen, either on your part in filling out your application or on behalf of the government, that result in an unfair denial of Canadian Citizenship.

If you receive a notice that your application for Canadian Citizenship has been denied – take note: you will have to appeal within 60 days to the Federal Court of Canada. The Federal Court will review the case and determine if any errors were made as well as consider any new evidence you will be able to offer. If the Court rules in your favour, your application will be re-considered by another judge.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

11 thoughts on “How To Appeal A Canadian Citizenship Refusal

  1. maria


    my citizenship request was denied because of language ability when i have a DEP (college degree) in Montreal plus i had passed all the french course (3 semester for immigrants)

    1. Mira Freiwat

      Hello Maria,

      Thank you for your post. IF it was refused for that reason, I would strongly suggest that you register to take additional language classes either offered through a test center such as the IELTS or privately through a college or community center. MF

  2. Ban


    Actually two days a go I had my Canadian citizenship interview. I have landed in canada from 2011 and I was graduate student. I submitted my official transcript for proof of my residency in canada. passed the writing test. However in interview, officer didn’t have any problem about my physical residency in Canada. However, due to my US green card, he believed that I have not strong tie to Canada and didn’t sign my documents and asked for translation of my passport and a letter from us government indicating that the us government knows that I am Canadian permanent resident and want to apply for Canadian citizenship and US doesn’t have any concern in this issue. I just contacted to US immigration and they usually won’t provide me this kinds of letter ( they told that it is not our business if you want to apply for Canadian citizenship).
    Another thing is that since I have got my US green card last year. But since I have not resided in the US for more than 6 month ( I just was in US one day), my us residency could be abounded and if I want to enter to US , probably I have to apply for US visa and with my current US green card, I can’t enter to US.
    Now, since I can’t provide the letter from US government, I don’t know what should I do? can I just explain to them and refer to the information in the website ( that for maintaining my green card I had to stay there more than 6 months)? attaching the draft from lawyer can be helpful? any recommendation and suggestion would be highly appreciated. I am so worry about my case and I don’t have any idea what will be happened?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. owen

      Hi Ban,

      Thanks for the question. This is definitely a very complicated case and you should immediately contact us so that you can setup a consultation with one of our experienced immigration lawyers who would be able to help you obtain Canadian citizenship.


  3. Nena


    I would like to know that if a citizenship application is denied, it will be hold unless you get all the requirements or it should be reapplied? For make it more clear, I mean that if a citizenship application is denied, then when it is considered again, the laws of the time you first applied will be applied or the new laws? I would be thankful if you guide me.

    WIth regards,

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Hello Nena

      Thank you for your question. If your citizenship application is denied and you appeal it, the Judge will consider the law at the time of the refusal. If you re-apply, then the the at the time of your new re-application will be enforced.
      I hope that helps

  4. shampa

    my aunt has been a landed immigrant in canada for almost 40 years. she has worked, paid taxes and voted the whole time. she chose to apply for her canadian citizenship this year and was approved by the judge. however the federal ministry of citizenship appealed the judge’s decision and is waiting for her to contest in 7 days.

    the only thing that was out of order was that one of her passports was lost…and it had her 10yr US Visa in it.

    this appeal is confounding as no real reason is given and won’t be given until she files to contest this appeal….which will cost $2500 only if this resolved outside of court. they are a paychq to paychq family and this is an incredibly unforeseen event for them do they have any other option or recourse….say xontacting their MP?

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Hello Shampa

      Thank you for your question. Your aunt’s situation is unfortunate but I see this kind of thing often. I am not sure contacting her MP will do much but it is worth a try. She needs proper legal representation to fight this. Appeals are complex.

  5. tajinder

    Hi dear Same thing happen with my husband ‘s file. He got denied citizenship letter yesterday..If you find out any thing please reply me.. If I got any info about it i wwill let you know. If you know any thing then let me know..

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Hello Tajinder

      Thank you for your post. Denial of Citizenship requires an appeal. Appeals are complicated but they can be won depending on the case. You are welcome to contact us directly for more help

  6. Edmundo

    what is the price ………. I was denied canadian citizenship……. for one she said i did not qualify and did not know the history…………. she asked all other questions……….. such as………. what province is bi-lingual…… french/english……….. i said n.b. and she said nope quebec. when in studying it said NB

    my wife is writing this for me

    another question was …… what’s the prime ministers wife’s name………. what does she have to do with our government……. anyway i would like to know the cost…………

    i have lived here in canada for over 20 years and only recently applied because of my kids………


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