Citizenship: Ministerial discretion to grant citizenship in special cases

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 5(4) of the Citizenship Act states that despite any other provision of the Act, the Minister may, at his discretion, grant citizenship to any person to alleviate cases of statelessness or of special and unusual hardship or to reward services of an exceptional nature to Canada.

Grants under this subsection are only used in very exceptional cases and each case is considered on its own merit. It is important that applicants appreciate the significance of being conferred a grant of citizenship under this provision and that it should not be used as a means of circumventing the normal citizenship process.

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