Backgrounder — Citizenship Revocation

Revocation means removing someone’s citizenship. People can have their citizenship revoked if they have obtained their citizenship by fraud, false representation or knowingly concealing material circumstances (for example, knowingly concealing information that could have affected their eligibility for citizenship or permanent residence).

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism sends a Notice of Intention to Revoke Citizenship to the person concerned, outlining the grounds for revocation. The person concerned has the right to request that the matter be referred to the Federal Court to determine whether he or she obtained Canadian citizenship by false representation or fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances.

If the person does not refer the matter to the Federal Court within 30 days, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism may directly proceed to submit a report to the Governor in Council (GIC) recommending that citizenship be revoked.

If the matter is referred to the Federal Court and the court finds that citizenship was not obtained by false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances, the matter ends there. However, if the Federal Court finds that citizenship was obtained through false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism may submit a report to the GIC recommending that citizenship be revoked.

The text of the report that the Minister presents to the GIC is disclosed to the person concerned, who has the opportunity to make written submissions. Any such submissions would be considered by the Minister and attached to the final report presented to the GIC. If the Governor in Council decides to revoke the person’s citizenship, it is carried out by an Order-in-Council.

The person who is the subject of the Order-in-Council has the right to have the Federal Court judicially review the GIC’s decision to revoke citizenship.

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