Waivers for renunciation of citizenship under section 9

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.

Subsection 9(2) of the Citizenship Act states that the Minister may waive some of the requirements on compassionate grounds for an adult renouncing citizenship.

A Canadian citizen may renounce citizenship if they

  • are a citizen of a country other than Canada, or, if the 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 made pursuant to section 20;
  • are not a minor;
  • are not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of the person having a mental disability; and
  • do not reside in Canada.

Minister’s discretion to waive some of the renunciation requirements

Subsection 9(2) gives the Minister the discretion to waive on compassionate grounds the requirements of paragraphs 9(1)(d) or (e).

Decision-making for waivers under subsection 9(2)

Citizenship officers at the Case Management Branch (CMB) have the delegated authority to assess a potential waiver and render decisions on waivers under subsection 9(2). They also have the delegated authority to render decisions on renunciation applications under subsection 9(1).

Paragraph 9(1)(d): the applicant is not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of having a mental disability

One of the requirements to renounce citizenship is that the applicant must understand the significance of renouncing citizenship.

  • Insufficient evidence on file: If the information on file suggests that the applicant may not meet the requirement of paragraph 9(1)(d) and evidence on file is insufficient to support a decision for a waiver, the CMB officer will request additional information by mail or during a hearing in person or by telephone. After reviewing the additional submissions or if the applicant does not respond, the CMB officer will render a decision on the waiver and a final decision on the application.
  • Sufficient evidence on file: If the applicant does not meet the requirement of paragraph 9(1)(d) and evidence on file is sufficient to support a decision for a waiver (medical report), the CMB officer renders a decision on the application without a hearing. However, before rendering the final decision, the CMB officer will send the applicant a procedural fairness letter to give them the opportunity to provide submissions (refer to the section on procedural fairness procedures).

Paragraph 9(1)(e): the applicant does not reside in Canada

One of the requirements to renounce citizenship is that the applicant must not reside in Canada.

  • Insufficient evidence on file: If the information on file suggests that the applicant may not meet the requirement of paragraph 9(1)(e) and evidence on file is insufficient to support a decision on the waiver, the CMB officer will request additional information by mail or during a hearing in person or by telephone. After reviewing the additional submissions or if the applicant does not respond, the CMB officer will render a decision on the waiver and a final decision on the application.
  • Sufficient evidence on file: If the applicant does not meet the requirement of paragraph 9(1)(e) and evidence on file is sufficient to support a decision, the CMB officer may refuse the application without a hearing. However, before rendering the final decision, the CMB officer will send the applicant a procedural fairness letter to the application to give them the opportunity to provide submissions (refer to the section on procedural fairness procedures).

Decision on the waiver

If the waiver and the application are refused, the CMB officer will send the refusal letter. Refer to the procedures described in the section When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is refused.

If the waiver and the application are approved, refer to the procedures described in the section When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is approved.

Before making a decision on the waiver and a final decision on the renunciation application, the CMB officer must perform a GCMS check to ensure that the applicant is not subject to revocation proceedings under section 10.

  • If GCMS indicates that the applicant is subject to revocation proceedings, the application is subject to subsection 9(2.2) and the processing of the application must be suspended. If this is the case, the CMB officer must follow procedures described in the section The applicant is subject to subsection 9(2.2);
  • If GCMS indicates that the applicant is not subject to revocation proceedings, a decision on the waiver and a final decision on the renunciation application is rendered by the CMB.

The CMB officer will

  • create a client note to indicate the following: “a GCMS check was performed and the applicant was not subject to subsection 9(2.2) prior to the officer making a decision”;
  • record the decision on the waiver as “granted” or “not granted” on the CIT 0055 form;
  • date and sign the waiver section on the CIT 0055 form;
  • record the decision on the waiver in GCMS as “granted” or “not granted”;
  • attach reasons of the decision to the file;
  • render a final decision on the application and,
    • if approved, refer to the section When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is approved;
    • if refused, send the refusal letter to the applicant and refer to the section When renunciation under subsection 9(1) is refused.

Examples of renunciation cases to refer to the CMB

Below are examples of the type of renunciation cases to refer to the CMB to assess a waiver.

Mental disability

Example 1

The applicant is an adult who does not understand the meaning of renouncing Canadian citizenship.

Example 2

Most of the applicant's family members live in another country, are concerned about the applicant's well-being, and wish to have the applicant live with them or closer to them.

Residence in Canada

Example 1

The applicant has Canadian citizenship and citizenship from another country, resides in Canada and is a diplomat representing another country or has been offered a diplomatic post pending successful renunciation of Canadian citizenship.

Some foreign governments will not allow their diplomatic representatives in Canada to be Canadian citizens.

Examples of documents required

Below are examples of the documents required to waive the requirements for renunciation of Canadian citizenship on compassionate grounds.

Mental disability

  • A medical report, signed by the applicant's physician, confirming that the applicant does not understand the impact of renouncing Canadian citizenship because of having a mental disability;
  • a letter from the applicant's guardian approving of the application for renunciation;
  • a document proving the guardian has the legal care of the applicant.

See Guardianship.

Residence in Canada

  • An official document from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development confirming that Canada will not accredit the applicant as a diplomatic agent in Canada because they appear to be a Canadian citizen;
  • other satisfactory evidence that the applicant must remain in Canada while or after renouncing citizenship.
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