Revoking Canadian Citizenship: Beware if you didn’t disclose your past
Lots of news about the government cracking down on citizenship fraud. Many applicants are not disclosing that they had past criminal records in order to obtain Canadian citizenship. The government is now looking back at these cases and is taking steps to revolk Canadian citizenship Applications and even move towards deportation.
So what are the rules for Revoking Citizenship?
Section 10 of the Citizenship Act says that citizenship may be revoked if a person obtains citizenship through:
- false representation;
- fraud; or
- knowingly concealing material circumstances.
The Citizenship Act also states that if a person acquired permanent resident status through false representation, and subsequently Canadian citizenship, then he or she obtained citizenship unlawfully.
So how does the Revocation of citizenship procedure work?
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration initiates the revocation process upon receiving information and evidence that a naturalized citizen unlawfully obtained citizenship or permanent resident status. Referrals for possible action usually come from Immigration, the CBSA, other external enforcement agencies, missions and poison pen letters. If it is found that misrepresentation occurred, revocation action will be initiated.
The Minister prepares a notice, sent by registered mail, to the affected person saying that the Minister intends to make a report to the Governor in Council recommending revocation of citizenship.
The notice sets out the basic allegations against the person. For example, the allegation might be that the person concealed criminal activities that would have prohibited him or her from being granted citizenship.
The subject of the revocation has 30 days in which to advise the Minister that he or she wishes his or her case to be referred to the Federal Court.
Revocation cases may take years to resolve. A person under revocation proceedings remains entitled to all rights and privileges of Canadian citizenship until the person’s citizenship is revoked by a Governor in Council Order.
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
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