Revocation of citizenship

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The ability to revoke a person’s citizenship on the basis of misrepresentation has been part of citizenship legislation since the Canadian Citizenship Act entered into force in 1947. It is an important tool for maintaining the integrity of Canadian citizenship.

On June 19, 2017, Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, received Royal Assent and made amendments to the citizenship revocation provisions.

Subsection 10(1) of the Citizenship Act provides the Minister with the authority to revoke a person’s Canadian citizenship or a person’s renunciation of citizenship if it was obtained, retained, renounced or resumed by one of the following:

  • false representation
  • fraud
  • knowingly concealing material circumstances

As a result of the amendments in Bill C-6, the Federal Court is now the decision maker for citizenship revocation cases unless the person subject to revocation requests that the Minister act as the decision maker. This applies to all revocation cases, including those related to security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality.

See Process to revoke Canadian citizenship for information on processing revocation cases.

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Status of a person under revocation proceedings

A person under revocation proceedings remains entitled to all rights and privileges of Canadian citizenship unless and until their citizenship is revoked. Under the Bill C-6 citizenship revocation model, the date the person’s citizenship is revoked is one of the following:

  • the date the Federal Court makes a declaration that the person has obtained, retained, renounced or resumed their citizenship by false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances (if the Federal Court is the decision maker)
  • the date the Minister renders the decision to revoke the person’s citizenship (if the individual requests the Minister as the decision maker)

If the individual files an application for leave and judicial review of the Minister’s decision to revoke citizenship with the Federal Court in accordance with section 22.1 of the Citizenship Act, they will not be considered a Canadian citizen until and unless the court quashes the Minister’s decision to revoke their citizenship.

Renunciation of Canadian citizenship during the revocation process

A person may not make an application to renounce their Canadian citizenship if they have received a notification letter or if the Minister has commenced an action seeking a declaration from the Federal Court with respect to the revocation of their citizenship, as per subsection 9(2.1) of the Citizenship Act.

If a renunciation application is made and the Minister subsequently provides the applicant with a notification letter to revoke their citizenship or commences an action in the Federal Court with respect to the revocation of their citizenship, processing of the renunciation application will be suspended until a decision about revocation is made by the Minister (if the person requests the Minister act as decision maker) or the Federal Court, as per subsection 9(2.2) of the Citizenship Act.

Refer to Renunciation of citizenship for the specific procedures to follow in such cases.

Status of a person post-revocation

If the person’s citizenship was revoked due to false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances that occurred during the citizenship process only (for instance, misrepresenting their residence or physical presence in Canada during the relevant period for citizenship), the person becomes a permanent resident as per subsection 46(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Citizenship revocation in such situations does not remove the right of the person to remain in Canada. However, following revocation, the person must meet all of the obligations of permanent resident status under IRPA. For the purposes of fulfilling the residency obligation under IRPA, the 5-year period begins on the date the person becomes a permanent resident (that is, the date the person’s Canadian citizenship is revoked).

If the person’s citizenship was revoked on the grounds they became a permanent resident by false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances and, because of having acquired that status, they subsequently obtained or resumed citizenship, the person becomes a foreign national as per IRPA via the application of section 10.2 of the Citizenship Act.

If the Federal Court declares that a person obtained citizenship with respect to a fact described in section A34, A35 or A37 (other than a fact that is also described in paragraph 36(1)(a) or (b) or (2)(a) or (b)), the Court may also declare that the person is inadmissible to Canada on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, or organized criminality if the Minister, on the request of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, seeks such a declaration. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness also becomes a party to the action in such cases.

Such a declaration of inadmissibility is a removal order (deportation order) against the person under the IRPA, and it comes into force upon the declaration of the Federal Court. The person will be considered a foreign national by operation of law pursuant to IRPA. If the person is in Canada at the time of the declaration, they are deemed to be in Canada without status and are subject to removal from Canada.

Impact of revocation on future citizenship applications

Any person whose citizenship is revoked is prohibited from being granted Canadian citizenship for 10 years from the date of the revocation of their citizenship as per paragraph 22(1)(f) of the Citizenship Act.

A person whose citizenship was revoked cannot be granted a resumption of citizenship as per paragraph 11(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act.

Notification of partners following revocation

The Citizenship and Passport Cases Division of the Case Management Branch advises partners (including the Passport Program, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP], the Canada Border Services Agency [CBSA] and Elections Canada) once citizenship has been revoked, as necessary.

Transitional provisions of Bill C-6

Subsection 10(2) of the Citizenship Act has been repealed. A person whose citizenship was revoked for national security reasons under subsection 10(2) of the Citizenship Act prior to its repeal is deemed not to have lost their citizenship.

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