Resumption of Canadian citizenship: Canadian Armed Forces

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.

This section is about resumption of citizenship by a former citizen who is or was serving in or with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Amendments to the Citizenship Act that came into force on June 19, 2014, along with further amendments that came into force on June 11, 2015, provide for an expedited access to citizenship for persons who are serving or have served in or with the CAF. These applications are to be processed on a priority basis.

General requirements

The former Canadian citizen must

  • be a permanent resident and have no unfulfilled conditions relating to their status as a permanent resident and, if released from the CAF, have been released honourably; or
  • be or have been attached or seconded to the CAF.

The former Canadian citizen must also

  • submit an Application to Resume Canadian Citizenship – Canadian Armed Forces [CIT 0534 (PDF, 2.06MB)] under subsection 11(1.1) or 11(1.2) of the Citizenship Act;
  • meet the service requirement;
  • not be under a removal order;
  • not have had their Canadian citizenship revoked; and
  • not be subject to a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20 of the Act.

For applications signed after June 11, 2015, in addition to the requirements noted above, the applicant must meet the income tax requirement, if they are a permanent resident.

Service requirement

Subsections 11(1.1) and 11(1.2) of the Act exempt an applicant from the residence/physical presence requirement of paragraph 11(1)(d) if the applicant has served in or with the CAF.

For applications signed between June 19, 2014, and June 11, 2015, the applicant must have completed six months (182 days) of service in or with the CAF in the one year immediately preceding the date of application.

For applications signed on or after June 11, 2015, the applicant must have completed six months (182 days) of service in or with the CAF in the two years (730 days) immediately preceding the date of application.

“Service” in the CAF includes

  • all time spent serving as a member of the CAF (as a Regular Force or Reserve Force member), regardless of whether the member is being paid for full-time service or other than full-time paid service (e.g., part-time) or whether the member had any periods of leave without pay; and
  • all time spent serving as a foreign military member attached or seconded to the CAF.

Evidence of service

Applicants will provide documents to demonstrate they meet the service requirement.

Current members must provide

  • a letter from their Commanding Officer; and
  • a copy of their Member Personnel Record Resumé.

Released members must provide

  • a copy of their Member Personnel Record Resumé; and
  • a copy of their Certificate of Service (this is issued only to members who were released honourably).

Attached or seconded applicants (who may not be permanent residents) must provide

  • a letter from their Commanding Officer; and
  • a copy of their instructions or orders supporting the attachment or secondment.

If an applicant has periods of service that are not consecutive, the applicant should provide separate documents for each period.

Note: For previous attached or seconded service (i.e., not current), the applicant will not be able to provide a letter from their Commanding Officer. The applicant should be able to provide a copy of the instructions or orders supporting the attachment or secondment. If an applicant is unable to provide a copy of the instructions or orders but does provide evidence of service, other than those listed above, this evidence will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Calculating service (for applications signed before June 11, 2015)

Each month of service during the one-year period counts towards the service requirement for citizenship (six months or 182 days). The periods of service do not need to be consecutive and may include previous service, current service, service provided through attachment or secondment, or any combination thereof.

The calculation of service cannot go beyond the one-year period before the date of application.

There is presently no service calculator built into the Global Case Management System (GCMS); therefore, officers will have to manually calculate the months of service until updates to GCMS can be made. The following examples illustrate how to calculate months of service for applications signed before June 11, 2015.

Currently enrolled in the CAF

A former citizen, who is a permanent resident, enrolled in the CAF on October 1, 2013, and is currently still a member of the CAF. An application to resume citizenship was submitted on August 1, 2014. The one-year period is from August 1, 2013, to July 31, 2014.

Service

  • October 1, 2013, to July 31, 2014 = 304 days

The applicant meets the service requirement for citizenship.

Released from the CAF

A former citizen, who is a permanent resident, enrolled in the CAF on February 1, 2012, and was honourably released on February 1, 2014. An application to resume citizenship was submitted on September 1, 2014. The one-year period is from September 1, 2013, to August 31, 2014.

Service

  • September 1, 2013, to February 1, 2014 = 154 days

The applicant does not meet the service requirement.

Currently seconded to the CAF

A former citizen was seconded to the CAF on April 1, 2014, and is currently still on secondment with the CAF. An application to resume citizenship was submitted on October 15, 2014. The one-year period is from October 15, 2013, to October 14, 2014.

Service

  • April 1, 2014, to October 14, 2014 = 197 days

The applicant meets the service requirement.

Calculating service for applications signed on or after June 11, 2015

Each month of service during the relevant period counts towards the service requirement for citizenship (six months or 182 days). The periods of service do not need to be consecutive and may include previous service, current service, service provided through attachment or secondment, or any combination thereof.

The calculation of service cannot go beyond the two-year period before the date of application.

There is currently no service calculator built into GCMS; therefore, officers will have to manually calculate the months of service until updates to GCMS can be made. The following examples illustrate how to calculate months of service for applications signed on or after June 11, 2015.

Currently enrolled in the CAF

A former citizen, who is a permanent resident, enrolls in the CAF on October 1, 2015, and is currently still a member of the CAF. An application to resume citizenship is submitted on August 1, 2016. The two-year period is from August 1, 2014, to July 31, 2016.

Service

  • October 1, 2015, to July 31, 2016 = 304 days

The applicant has 304 days of service. The applicant meets the service requirement.

Released from the CAF

A former citizen, who is a permanent resident, enrolls in the CAF on February 1, 2016, and is honourably released on February 1, 2018. An application to resume citizenship is submitted on September 1, 2018. The two-year period is from September 1, 2016, to August 31, 2018.

Service

  • September 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016 = 122 days
  • January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017 = 365 days
  • January 1, 2018, to February 1, 2018 = 32 days

The applicant has 519 days of service. The applicant meets the service requirement.

Seconded to the CAF

A former citizen is seconded to the CAF from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2018. An application to resume citizenship is submitted on October 15, 2019. The two-year period is from October 15, 2017, to October 14, 2019.

Service

  • October 15, 2017, to December 31, 2017 = 78 days
  • January 1, 2018, to March 31, 2018 = 90 days

The applicant has 168 days of service. The applicant does not meet the service requirement.

Applicant released other than honourably

If the applicant was released other than honourably from the CAF, the applicant does not qualify to resume citizenship via the fast-track mechanism.

Article 15.01 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces sets out the categories of release. Releases under the following categories are honourable:

  • Item 3, Medical;
  • Item 4, Voluntary; and
  • Item 5, Service Completed.

Releases under the following categories are not honourable:

  • Item 1, Misconduct; and
  • Item 2, Unsatisfactory Service.

If the applicant has been released and declares on the application that the release is not honourable, the CPC-S will return the application and advise the applicant that they do not qualify to apply via the fast-track mechanism. If the case has been created and the CPC-S discovers that the applicant was released other than honourably, the officer at the CPC-S will send a procedural fairness letter to the applicant allowing them the opportunity to respond to the officer’s concerns.

If the application was referred to a local office for a hearing and the citizenship officer discovers the applicant was released other than honourably from the CAF, the citizenship officer will send a procedural fairness letter to the applicant allowing them the opportunity to respond to the officer’s concerns. If the applicant is unable to resolve the officer’s concerns, the application can be refused under subsection 11(1.1).

Prohibitions

Like a regular resumption, valid immigration, criminal, and security clearances are required and the prohibitions outlined in section 22 apply.

Individuals who are attached or seconded to the CAF and who are not permanent residents will not receive a “Passed” clearance from the Operations Support Centre. These cases will be flagged for follow-up. It will be the responsibility of the citizenship officer to review the applicant’s history in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) or GCMS to ensure that the applicant is not under a removal order and pass the immigration clearance as appropriate. If the immigration clearance is passed, a note in GCMS is to be entered stating the following “Applicant is not a permanent resident. No adverse information in FOSS/GCMS. Applicant attached or seconded to the CAF. Immigration clearance passed.”

If fingerprints are required, the local office is to send the Request for Fingerprints – Canadian Armed Forces [CIT 0537] and/or the Final Request for Fingerprints – Canadian Armed Forces [CIT 0538]. As these forms are not yet available in GCMS, the local office is to save a copy of the form in GCMS via Electronic Document.

Language and knowledge requirements

Applicants for resumption do not need to meet the language and knowledge requirements.

Requirement to have no unfulfilled conditions as a permanent resident

This requirement is applicable to applications in the inventory and applications signed on or after June 11, 2015. This requirement is applicable only to persons applying as permanent residents [as referred to in subsection 11(1.1)]. Applicants who are attached or seconded to the CAF and who are not permanent residents are not subject to this requirement.

The requirement under subsection 11(1.1) to have no unfulfilled conditions relating to one's permanent resident status is the same as the requirement under paragraphs 5(1)(c) and 11(1)(d).

Requirement to file income taxes

This requirement is applicable only to applications signed on or after June 11, 2015. This requirement is applicable only to persons applying as permanent residents. Applicants who are attached or seconded to the CAF and who are not permanent residents are not subject to this requirement.

Persons who are serving or have served in the CAF and are applying as permanent residents [as referred to in subsection 11(1.1)] are required to have met any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file an income tax return in respect of the taxation year immediately before the year in which the application is made. This means that if the applicant applied to resume citizenship in 2020, they must have filed income tax, if required to do so, for the 2019 taxation year in order to meet the tax filing requirement. The procedure to assess the income tax filing requirement is the same as the procedure to assess the requirement under paragraphs 5(1)(c) and 11(1)(d).

Decision

Citizenship officers at the CPC-S and at the local office are the decision makers on applications for a resumption of citizenship by persons who are serving or have served in or with the CAF and meet the service requirement found in subsections 11(1.1) and 11(1.2) of the Act.

The Citizenship Application Review - Decision of the Minister's Delegate - Subsection 11(1) - Resumption - Canadian Armed Forces form [CIT 0541] is to be used to record the decision. At this time, this form is not available in GCMS. Officers will be required to manually populate the relevant fields until the form becomes available in GCMS.

For applications where a decision can be rendered without the personal appearance of the applicant, the decision will be made by an officer at the CPC-S. Applications that require the personal appearance of the applicant will be transferred to the local office for a hearing and decision.

Procedures for the CPC-S

A dedicated post office box has been created for applications by persons who are serving or have served in or with the CAF. When an application is received, it will be processed at the CPC-S on a priority basis. Applications that are not complete may be returned to the applicant. The CPC-S will use a red file jacket when creating the physical file so as to easily identify the file as a CAF file.

At this time, GCMS does not contain fields to capture the date of enrollment in the CAF, the date of release from the CAF, or the years of service. The CPC-S will calculate the months of service (see Calculating service above) and will note the calculation, the date(s) of enrollment and the date(s) of release (if applicable) in GCMS via Case Notes.

The CPC-S will verify the evidence of service documents and note any discrepancies or concerns on the file.

If an application can be approved without the personal appearance of the applicant, the CPC-S will approve the application and send the file to the local office to be included in the next available ceremony. If the applicant is currently posted outside Canada, the CPC-S will make arrangements with the CIC mission abroad for a foreign service officer to administer the Oath as soon as reasonably possible, as these cases are treated on a priority basis.

If there are concerns with the months of service or other program integrity concerns, the CPC-S will refer the application to the local office.

Procedures for the local office

When the file is received at the local office, it will continue to be processed on a priority basis.

If citizenship has been granted by an officer at the CPC-S, the local office will invite the applicant to the next available ceremony.

If the applicant requires a hearing, the local office will ensure that the applicant is scheduled for the first available hearing with a level 2 officer once valid clearances have been obtained. The CIT 0541 form is to be manually populated, printed, and placed on the file prior to the hearing. A level 2 officer will conduct the hearing, render a decision, and complete the form.

If citizenship is granted, the applicant should be invited to the next available ceremony.

Oath of Citizenship

An applicant for a resumption of citizenship who is serving or has served in or with the CAF and meets the service requirement found in subsections 11(1.1) or 11(1.2) is required to take the Oath of Citizenship, unless a waiver of the Oath has been granted.

If the applicant is in Canada, the Oath will be taken during a ceremony. If the applicant is outside Canada, the Oath may be administered by a foreign service officer (other than locally engaged staff).

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