Renunciation of Canadian citizenship: Overview

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

A person who renounces their citizenship ceases to have the legal status of a citizen as described in the Citizenship Act.

There are two types of renunciation of Canadian citizenship:

  • renunciation for Canadian citizens under subsection 9(1) of the Citizenship Act; and
  • renunciation under section 7.1 of the Citizenship Regulations that came into force as a result of the legislative changes to the Citizenship Act on April 17, 2009, and June 11, 2015,
    • for certain individuals who had Canadian citizenship, lost it and had it restored to them automatically on April 17, 2009, retroactive to the date of loss;
    • for certain individuals who automatically became Canadian citizens on June 11, 2015, and who had not previously become citizens by way of a grant of citizenship (naturalization), retroactive to January 1, 1947 (or April 1, 1949, in the case of Newfoundland and Labrador); and
    • for certain individuals born outside Canada to a Canadian parent who acquired Canadian citizenship automatically on April 17, 2009, or June 11, 2015, retroactive to their date of birth.

Application to renounce citizenship under subsection 9(1) of the Citizenship Act

Requirements to renounce 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 pursuant to section 20 of the Citizenship Act;
  • 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.

Who cannot apply for renunciation?

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 to 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.

Minister may 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 paragraph (1)(d) or (e).

Application to renounce citizenship under section 7.1 of the Citizenship Regulations

Requirements to renounce citizenship

Any person may renounce citizenship if

  • they are a Canadian citizen under
    • paragraph 3(1)(f) or 3(1)(g) who acquired citizenship automatically on April 17, 2009, or on June 11, 2015,
    • paragraph 3(1)(b) [for the sole reason that one or both parents are citizens described in paragraphs 3(1)(k) to 3(1)(n) who did not, before June 11, 2015, become citizens by way of grant as defined in subsection 3(9)],
    • one of paragraphs 3(1)(k) to 3(1)(r) who acquired citizenship automatically on June 11, 2015, and who did not, before June 11, 2015, become a citizen by way of grant as defined in subsection 3(9);
  • they are, as described under subsection 7.1(1),
    • a citizen of a country other than Canada or, if the application is approved, will become a citizen of a country other than Canada, and
    • not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of the person having a mental disability.

Note: Persons who are Canadian citizens under paragraph 3(1)(b) as a result of the 2009 amendments are not eligible to renounce citizenship under section 7.1.

Minister may waive one of the renunciation requirements under subsection 7.1(2)

Subsection 7.1(2) of the Citizenship Regulations gives the Minister the discretion to waive on compassionate grounds the requirement of understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of the person having a mental disability.

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