Naturalised Canadian citizens can lose their Canadian citizenship if they obtained it by fraud either in the citizenship application process or in the process of obtaining their permanent residence.
Naturalised Canadian citizens can lose their Canadian citizenship if they obtained it by fraud either in the citizenship application process or in the process of obtaining their permanent residence. Those suspected of having obtained their citizenship by fraud will be given due process before their citizenship is revoked. This would mean, at a minimum, notice of the allegations against them and disclosure of the evidence against them, and an opportunity to respond to the same orally or in writing before a final decision is made. The process will be initiated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, but the final decision whether to revoke citizenship or not will be made by the Federal Court.
How Citizenship Revocation Begins
Before initiating revocation proceedings the Citizenship Authorities will typically send them a “Request for Information Letter” setting out the allegations against the citizen in concise form and providing them with 30 days to respond. Based on the response, the Citizenship Authorities will decide whether to begin the formal process of revoking citizenship.
What Revocation Process Includes?
The revocation process now includes an additional step where the IRCC officials will review all the submitted cases and decide whether to continue with the proceedings or forward it to the Federal Court for a decision to be made. Individuals who prefer to have the immigration minister decide the case can later request the Federal Court to review the minister’s decision. One of the factors that the IRCC has to decide is whether despite any fraud or misrepresentation in the citizenship process, whether there exist personal circumstances that warrant not revoking citizenship, including the best interests of any child affected by the decision, and whether the decision could render the citizen stateless. Previously, the immigration minister was the decision maker for citizenship revocation cases that involved false representation and fraud. The Federal Court mostly handled cases that involved fraud and knowingly concealing material circumstances related to organized crime, rights violation, and security. With these new changes, the Federal Court will now be the decision maker for all citizenship revocation cases unless the individual requests for the case to be heard by the minister.
The Effect of Revocation
The effect of revocation will depend on where the fraud was. Those who perpetrated a fraud in the citizenship application process will lose their citizenship and revert to being permanent residents. However, those who perpetrated a fraud in the process of obtaining their permanent residence will lose both their citizenship and their permanent residence and will revert to being foreign nationals, or in some cases, will be rendered stateless. Those who lose all status will then be subject to removal proceedings. More changes are expected to be enforced later in 2018 including authorizing citizenship officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents. Additional changes are being recommended to Bill C-6 to further improve and protect the rights of citizens in the revocation process. If you are going through citizenship revocation process and need the help of an experienced immigration consultant, contact us.
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