Under the Canadian Passport Order, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister), or his/her delegate, has the authority to make passport decisions when it is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, or for the national security of Canada or a foreign country or state.
Cancellation of passports
A passport may be cancelled by the Minister if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the decision is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, or for the national security of Canada or a foreign country or state.
When a passport is cancelled, law enforcement and border control partners are notified of the cancellation and the passport can no longer be used for travel.
Individuals can apply for reconsideration of cancellation decision within 30 days of becoming aware of the decision. After applying in writing for reconsideration, the applicant will be provided with an unclassified summary of the information in support of maintaining the cancellation of the passport and given an opportunity to submit any information in response. The decision-maker will then decide whether there are still reasonable grounds to cancel the passport. This decision can then be appealed to the Federal Court within 30 days of receiving notice of the decision.
Refusal and revocation of passports
Public Safety Canada may conduct an investigation to determine whether the issuance of a passport may be refused or whether a passport may be revoked. In cases where it has been determined that possible refusal or revocation should be pursued, the individual will be so notified by letter. The applicant will be provided with an unclassified summary of the information in support of the possible refusal or revocation of the passport and given an opportunity to submit any information in response.
At the end of the investigation, the information, including any submissions from the individual, is forwarded to the Minister or to his/her delegate for a decision. The individual is subsequently advised in writing of the decision and of the reason for the decision.
The decision to refuse or revoke a passport is considered final.
Refusal of passport services
The decision to refuse to issue or to revoke a passport may include a period of time, not exceeding 10 years, during which no passport shall be issued.
During a period of refusal of passport services, a person may have a requirement to travel on an urgent basis. In these circumstances, he or she may submit a new passport application for travel, supported by justification. Such requests will be reviewed to assess the urgency and determine whether the reasons for travel are compelling and require compassionate considerations. A recommendation will then be forwarded to the decision-maker who will decide whether to issue a limited validity passport on urgent, compelling and compassionate grounds.
Where a person has been refused the issuance of a passport, or where a passport issued to the person has been revoked, the person may contest the decision by filing an application for judicial review before the Federal Court of Canada.
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