The Citizenship Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative body within Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Commission consists of all citizenship judges working across Canada. Its mandate is as follows:
- To assess referred applications to ensure they meet the residence requirements of the Citizenship Act and Citizenship Regulations;
- To administer the oath of citizenship and stress the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship;
- To maintain the integrity of the citizenship process; and
- To promote citizenship to new and established Canadians by working with school boards, service clubs, multicultural groups and other community organizations.
With respect to decisions affecting individual cases, citizenship judges are independent, quasi-judicial decision makers. They maintain an arms-length relationship both with the Government of Canada and CIC staff. Their decisions can be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada by a failed applicant or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
Judges need to know:
- The principles of administrative law and natural justice;
- The Citizenship Act, Citizenship Regulations and relevant case law; and
- The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as well as the Criminal Code.
Citizenship judges are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of CIC. New appointees are chosen from a list of qualified candidates who have gone through rigorous screening.
The Citizenship Commission is led by a Senior Citizenship Judge. Reporting to the Minister, the Senior Citizenship Judge is responsible for ensuring the proper administration of the law. The Senior Citizenship Judge also assumes responsibility for managing the administrative and professional services that the Commission offers to judges.
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