Renunciation of citizenship under subsection 9(1) of the Citizenship Act

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Who can apply for renunciation under subsection 9(1)?

Under the provisions of subsection 9(1) of the Citizenship Act, a Canadian citizen may renounce citizenship if they

  • are a citizen of a country other than Canada, or, if their application is accepted, will become a citizen of a country other than Canada;
  • are not the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council under section 20;
  • are not a minor;
  • are not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of having a mental disability; and
  • do not reside in Canada.

There are no provisions allowing a minor to renounce citizenship.

Who cannot apply for renunciation under subsection 9(1)?

Pursuant to subsection 9(2.1), a person cannot make an application for renunciation if the Minister has provided the applicant with a notice of intent to revoke citizenship referred to in subsection 10(3), or has commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2) for a declaration in respect of the applicant until the Minister provides the applicant with their decision under subsection 10(5) or a final judgment has been rendered in that action, as the case may be.

Suspension of the processing of the renunciation application made under subsection 9(1) and end of the suspension

Pursuant to subsection 9(2.2), if an application for renunciation is made and the Minister subsequently provides the applicant with a notice of intent to revoke citizenship referred to in subsection 10(3) or commences an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2) for a declaration in respect of the applicant, the processing of that application is suspended until the Minister provides the applicant with their decision under subsection 10(5) or a final judgment has been rendered in that action, as the case may be.

Decision-making procedures

The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act amended the Citizenship Act to give the authority to the Minister to render decisions on renunciation applications under subsection 9(1).

Citizenship officers are delegated to act on behalf of the Minister to render decisions on applications for renunciation of Canadian citizenship made under subsection 9(1).

Minister’s discretion to waive some of the renunciation requirements of subsection 9(1)

Subsection 9(2) of the Citizenship Act gives the Minister the discretion to waive on compassionate grounds the requirements of paragraphs 9(1)(d) and (e):

  • the applicant is not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of the person having a mental disability [A9(1)(d)]; and
  • the applicant does not reside in Canada [A9(1)(e)].

See Reasons for waiving requirements.

Decision-making process for citizenship officers

Step 1

File creation

Upon receiving a renunciation application under subsection 9(1) of the Citizenship Act, the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S) mailroom clerk will perform a first mandatory GCMS check to confirm that the applicant is not subject to revocation proceedings under section 10 or 10.1 of the Act.

If it is confirmed that CIC has not opened a revocation file, sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3), or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), the CPC-S mailroom clerk will

  • reserve the fee; and
  • refer the application to the program support agent.

The program support agent will

  • create the case in GCMS;
  • allocate the fee;
  • initiate the security clearance; and
  • refer the file to the program support officer.

If GCMS indicates that CIC has opened a revocation file, but has not sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), refer to the section A revocation file has been opened.

If GCMS indicates that CIC has sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), refer to the section The applicant is subject to subsection 9(2.1).

Note: If the renunciation application is signed by a minor (under 18 years of age), the application cannot be processed. The application and proof of payment are returned to the applicant with an explanation letter as there is no provision in the Citizenship Act for a minor to renounce Canadian citizenship (no case is created in GCMS).


Step 2

Evaluation of information received

Once the security clearance is received, the citizenship officer

  • confirms that the applicant is a Canadian citizen;
  • confirms that the applicant
    • has dual citizenship, or
    • will become a citizen of another country if the renunciation application is accepted. The official document issued by the appropriate foreign government must include the applicant’s name and date of birth, the date by which the applicant must renounce Canadian citizenship (if applicable) and clearly state that the applicant will become a citizen of that country upon renunciation of Canadian citizenship. Additional documentation will be requested from the applicant if required;
  • confirms that the applicant is not the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20 of the Act;
  • confirms that the applicant is not residing in Canada;
  • confirms that there is nothing on file indicating that the applicant is prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of having a mental disability;
  • confirms that the citizenship certificate has been returned with the application, and if not, contacts the applicant to surrender the certificate before proceeding to Step 3.

Step 3

Requesting additional information, if necessary

The citizenship officer must ensure that the applicant has provided all the necessary information and evidence to render a decision. Under section 23.1 of the Citizenship Act, the officer can request that an applicant provide any additional information or evidence relevant to the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to satisfy the decision-maker that they meet all the requirements of the Citizenship Act and its regulations.

Contacting the applicant to provide additional information

If the applicant resides in Canada or the United States, send the letter to the applicant by regular mail.

If the applicant resides outside Canada and the United States, contact the applicant directly by email or through the nearest consular mission.


Step 4

Making a decision

Before making the final decision, the citizenship officer must perform a last mandatory GCMS check to confirm that CIC has not opened a revocation file, sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3), or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), since the application was initially received.

If GCMS indicates that CIC has opened a revocation file, but has not sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), refer to the section A revocation file has been opened.

If GCMS indicates that CIC has sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), refer to the section The applicant is subject to subsection 9(2.2).

When the citizenship officer is satisfied that the applicant meets all the requirements, they may render a positive decision without a hearing (refer to the section When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is approved).

If it has been confirmed that CIC has not initiated revocation proceedings and if the applicant does not meet the requirements
Under paragraph 9(1)(a)

If the applicant is not a citizen of a country other than Canada and no evidence was provided that they will become a citizen of a country other than Canada, the applicant does not meet the requirements to renounce citizenship. The Act does not provide discretion to waive this requirement. Therefore, the citizenship officer must refuse the application and send the refusal letter. However, a procedural fairness letter will be sent to the applicant to give them the opportunity to provide submissions before rendering the final decision (refer to the section Procedural fairness procedures).

Under paragraph 9(1)(b)

If the applicant is subject to a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20 of the Citizenship Act, the applicant does not meet the requirements to renounce citizenship. The Act does not provide discretion to waive this requirement. Therefore, the citizenship officer must refuse the application and send the refusal letter. However, a procedural fairness letter will be sent to the applicant to give them the opportunity to provide submissions before rendering the final decision (refer to the section Procedural fairness procedures). It is recommended that citizenship officers consult the Case Management Branch (CMB) to review the case before sending the refusal letter given that these cases are complex.

Under paragraph 9(1)(c)

If the applicant is a minor, they do not meet the requirement to renounce citizenship. The Act does not provide discretion to waive this requirement. The citizenship officer must not process the application and return it to the minor with an explanation letter accompanied with the fee. There are some exceptions:

  • if the minor insists on a decision, then the officer will send the refusal letter;
  • if the applicant declared on their application a date of birth indicating they are an adult but that the identity documents submitted with the application indicate that the applicant was a minor on the date they signed the application, the officer will send a fairness letter to the applicant requesting clarification before refusing the application and sending the refusal letter.
Under paragraph 9(1)(d)

If the citizenship officer has any doubts about the applicant’s medical condition, they will send a procedural fairness letter to the applicant requesting additional information. Depending on the information received or if the applicant does not respond, the file will be referred to the CMB or the officer will render the final decision.

If there is evidence on file (medical report) indicating that the applicant is prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of having a mental disability, but meets all other requirements, the citizenship officer will refer the file to the CMB for assessment of the waiver and final decision on the application.

Under paragraph 9(1)(e)

If the citizenship officer has any doubts about the applicant’s place of residence, they will send a procedural fairness letter to the applicant requesting additional information. Depending on the information received, or if the applicant does not respond, the file will be referred to the CMB or the officer will render the final decision.

If there is evidence on file indicating that the applicant resides in Canada, but meets all other requirements, the citizenship officer will refer the file to the CMB for assessment of the waiver and final decision on the application.


Procedural fairness procedures

If an application is expected to be refused without a hearing, the applicant must be given the opportunity to respond and present additional information or evidence. Thus, when an applicant appears not to meet the renunciation requirements, the applicant is to be provided an opportunity to respond before a final decision is made.

The letter that the citizenship officer sends must identify the officer’s concerns and provide the applicant the opportunity to submit information that they meet the renunciation requirements. Examples of additional information the applicant might provide include the following:

  • information indicating that the applicant is a citizen of a country other than Canada;
  • information indicating that the applicant will become a citizen of a country other than Canada;
  • information indicating that the applicant is residing outside Canada;
  • information supporting a waiver request;
  • information indicating that the applicant is not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of having a mental disability.

Once the applicant provides their submissions, they will be reviewed by the officer who will render the final decision. For any submissions regarding an applicant who does not meet the requirement of paragraph 9(1)(d) or (e), the officer must send the entire file to the CMB to assess the waiver and render the final decision on the application (refer to Waivers for renunciation of citizenship under section 9).

Note: To ensure that the applicant has the opportunity to respond, citizenship officers should bring forward the file to allow correspondence to be received and matched to the file.

Hearings

Section 23.1 of the Citizenship Act, as amended by the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act in 2014, states that the Minister may require an applicant to provide any additional information or evidence relevant to their application, specifying the date by which it is required. For that purpose, the Minister may require the applicant to appear in person or by any means of telecommunication to be examined before the Minister, specifying the time and the place—or the time and the means—for the appearance.

An officer, acting as the delegate of the Minister, in determining whether or not a hearing is required, must consider whether procedural fairness considerations necessitate a hearing. Refer to Interviewing applicants.

Contacting the applicant to appear for a telephone hearing

In general, the renunciation process does not require a hearing and the process may be completed entirely by mail. Nevertheless, when assessing an application made under subsection 9(1), the citizenship officer may request that an applicant attends a hearing.

  • The applicant resides in Canada: The officer will make arrangements with an officer at the nearest local office for a hearing and send a notice to the applicant to appear in person at the nearest local office for a telephone hearing. An officer of the local office will verify the applicant’s identity and provide a room for the hearing.
  • The applicant resides outside Canada: The officer will make arrangements with a consular officer for a hearing at the nearest consular mission and send a notice to the applicant to appear in person at the nearest consular mission for a telephone hearing. The consular officer will verify the applicant’s identity and provide a room for the hearing.

Note: An in-person hearing may be arranged if the officer deems it necessary.

Refer to Interviewing applicants.

When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is approved

The citizenship officer (or the CMB officer)

  • completes, signs and dates the Decision of the Minister’s Delegate [CIT 0055];
  • signs and dates the upper part the Application to Renounce Canadian Citizenship form [CIT 0302];
  • records the decision in GCMS and makes related adjustments in GCMS (i.e., remove citizenship effective date and adjust primary citizenship to new country.

If the application is approved at the CMB, the file is sent to the CPC-S to complete the rest of the processing as follows:

  • refer the file for preparation of renunciation certificate and covering letter;
  • issue the renunciation certificate (refer to the section When the applicant ceases to be a Canadian citizen). In the case the application is approved by the CMB officer, the officer completes, signs and dates the CIT 0055 form, records the decision on the CIT 0302 form and in GCMS, sends a scanned copy of the CIT 0055 form to the CPC-S for the issuance and mailing of the renunciation certificate and returns the file to the CPC-S.
    • If the applicant resides outside Canada and the United States, the renunciation certificate is sent to the consular mission by diplomatic bag with a covering letter requesting that they forward the certificate to the applicant.
    • Considering the mailing period before the decision reaches the applicant who resides outside Canada and the United States, a copy of the renunciation certificate must be sent to the mission by email or by fax accompanied by a covering letter requesting the mission to forward the certificate to the applicant with a note that the original will arrive by dip bag in the next few weeks. A client note in GCMS must be created to indicate that a copy of the certificate was sent to the mission. This will avoid the applicant coming to Canada (without status) or sending a withdrawal request after their application was finalized.
    • If the applicant resides in Canada or the United States, the renunciation certificate is sent to the applicant by mail.

After the renunciation certificate and covering letter are sent, the CPC-S officer

  • updates GCMS activity field to indicate that the issuance of the renunciation certificate is complete;
  • sends a copy of the covering letter to the Passport Program and the Operations Support Centre (OSC);
  • places a copy of the covering letter and renunciation certificate on file;
  • creates a client note to indicate that the renunciation certificate was sent directly to the client or through the consular mission;
  • closes the file in GCMS;
  • retires the file.

When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is refused

The citizenship officer (or the CMB officer)

  • completes, signs and dates the Decision of the Minister’s Delegate form [CIT 0055];
  • records the decision in GCMS and reasons of the refusal;
  • prepares the refusal letter containing the reasons for the refusal and information regarding submitting a new application when the applicant meets the requirements:
    • if the applicant resides outside Canada and the United States, the refusal letter is sent to the consular mission with a covering letter requesting that they forward the refusal letter to the applicant,
    • if the applicant resides in Canada or the United States, the refusal letter is sent to the applicant by regular mail;
  • places a copy of the refusal letter on file;
  • creates a case note in GCMS that the refusal letter was sent to the applicant;
  • keeps a copy and returns all original documents, if submitted (e.g., Canadian birth certificate, citizenship certificate);
  • closes the file in GCMS;
  • puts the file on hold for six months before initiating retirement procedures, in case there is a judicial review;
  • retires the file if there is no judicial review.

A revocation file has been opened

  • If, on receipt of a renunciation application by a citizenship officer, GCMS indicates that a revocation file has been opened, but that CIC has not sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), the CPC-S will accept the application and advise the CMB that a renunciation application has been received and accepted.
  • If, during the processing of a renunciation application by a citizenship officer, GCMS indicates that CIC has opened a revocation file, but has not sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), the citizenship officer will consult the CMB.

The applicant is subject to subsection 9(2.1)

If GCMS indicates that CIC has sent a notice referred to in subsection 10(3) or has commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2) or section 20 of the Act for a declaration in respect to the applicant, this means that the applicant is subject to subsection 9(2.1); therefore, the renunciation application cannot be accepted and must be returned to the applicant.

The CPC-S officer will

  • prepare an explanation letter in consultation with the CMB;
  • return the entire application, unprocessed, and proof of payment accompanied by the explanation letter:
    • If the renunciation application was received from the mission, the letter will be attached to the revocation file, an advanced copy of the letter will be sent to the mission by fax or email for distribution to the applicant indicating that the entire application and proof of payment will follow by mail. The officer will create a client note in GCMS indicating that an advanced copy of the letter was sent to the mission and the application is being returned to the applicant;
  • attach an e-copy of the letter to the revocation file in GCMS under Correspondence Profile; and
  • enter a client note of explanation.

The applicant is subject to subsection 9(2.2)

If, during the processing of a renunciation application by a citizenship officer, GCMS indicates that the Minister sent a notice of intent to revoke citizenship referred to in subsection 10(3) or commenced an action in Federal Court pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) or (2), the applicant is subject to the suspension under subsection 9(2.2). The CPC-S officer will stop the processing of the application and contact the CMB, who will confirm whether a notice has been sent or an action in Federal Court has commenced and send a copy of the notice to the CPC-S, if applicable.

The CPC-S officer will

  • suspend the processing of the renunciation application;
  • send a letter to the applicant to explain that their renunciation application has been suspended;
  • place a hard copy of the letter in the file; and
  • attach an e-copy of the letter to renunciation file in GCMS under Correspondence Profile.

End of the suspension of the processing of the renunciation application

The suspension of the processing of a renunciation application ends when the Minister provides the applicant with their decision under subsection 10(5) or a final judgment has been rendered in the action that has commenced under subsection 10.1(1) or (2), as the case may be.

The CMB will notify the CPC-S officer processing the renunciation file that the revocation has been concluded and the CPC-S officer will resume their assessment of the renunciation application.

If the decision is not to revoke citizenship

The CPC-S officer will resume the processing of the renunciation application and make a final decision on the waiver and/or the renunciation application.

If the decision is to revoke citizenship

As the applicant is no longer a Canadian citizen, they do not meet the requirement of subsection 9(1). Therefore, the CPC-S officer will send the applicant a refusal letter specifying any other renunciation requirements that the applicant may not have met under subsection 9(1).

When the applicant ceases to be a Canadian citizen

Subsection 9(3) of the Act provides that the applicant ceases to be a citizen after the expiration of the day on which the certificate was issued, or such later date as the certificate may specify.

Status after renunciation of Canadian citizenship

  • Persons who renounce citizenship have no status in Canada.
  • Persons who renounce Canadian citizenship are subject to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, for example, regarding entering and remaining in Canada. This means that if the person wishes to return to Canada permanently, they must apply for permanent resident visa. If the person wishes to return to Canada temporarily (to visit, to work, or to study), they must apply for a temporary resident visa, as applicable.
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