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.


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

  • Mira Freiwat

    Hello George,

    Thank you for your inquiry. We get asked this question here at VisaPlace a lot; where a Canadian is involved in a romantic relationship and wants to know what the best option is to bring a foreign national to Canada. We have dealt with many cases like this and have been extremely successful in reuniting couples and families for over 20 years now. In order for me to be able to advise you accurately on which path is best for you two to take, I would need to learn more about you and your situation.

    George I kindly ask that you complete this form for me and once I have received the results, I will review them and contact you! MF

  • George Marzotto

    when it comes to immigration there seems to be a lot of information out there but some is conflicting and I am also under the impression that Immigration Canada seems to have a lot of leeway in interpreting rules and handing down judgments.

    My situation is that I am strongly interested in a China PR national. She has a tourist visa and she last stayed with me for 6 months – 7 actually as I tried to get her stay extended but was turned down by IC.

    My question is what would be the best path to get her to live with me in Canada e.g. marry her in Canada or China then apply for sponsorship. It seems that IC is also looking for evidence of extended cohabitation which would not be possible on a tourist visa?

    Any advice you could offer re a path or my chances of achieving success would be appreciated.



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