Investigation and decision making process in passport refusal and revocation files–Category one

Definitions

The following definitions apply in this process.

contact information
The name, postal address and telephone number of a person.
decision maker
The director of the Investigations Division of the Passport Program’s Security Bureau, or any employee designated by the director for the purposes of making a decision pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Canadian Passport Order, in addition to making a decision on a duration period for refusal of passport service.
duration period
The period of time a refusal of passport services will last.
ineligibility period
The subsequent period of refusal of passport services, following a decision to refuse to issue a passport or revoke a passport.
investigation
An administrative information-gathering exercise conducted by the Passport Program to determine whether there are grounds to refuse to issue a passport or to revoke a passport pursuant to sections 4, 9 and 10 of the Order and/or to impose a period of ineligibility for passport services pursuant to sections 10.2 and 10.3 of the Order.
investigation file
All information obtained during a current investigation relating to a specific passport-related event or circumstance conducted by the Passport Program.
material facts, information and documents
The facts, information and documents gathered during the course of a current investigation into a specific passport-related event or circumstance, that are relied on by the Passport Program to substantiate a decision pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Canadian Passport Order.
Order
The Canadian Passport Order
passport
An official Canadian travel document issued by and under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the purpose of identifying the holder thereof, and facilitating travel by that person outside Canada, including documents issued pursuant to the Diplomatic and Special Passport Order, certificates of identity and travel documents issued under the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and its Protocol of 1967.
subject
A passport applicant or passport bearer, genuine or purported, whose entitlement to passport services is under investigation by the Passport Program, with respect to whom a decision maker has made or may make a decision pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Order.

Assistance from a third person

A subject may be assisted by counsel or another person for any matter arising from the investigation. However, the Passport Program will continue to communicate directly with the subject of the investigation. the Passport Program requires signed authorization from the subject permitting communication with the designated person or counsel. The person or counsel assisting the subject will only receive copies of the correspondence.

Subject’s responsibility

It is incumbent on the subject to inform the Passport Program if he or she wants the Passport Program to discontinue sending copies of correspondence to the person or counsel who has been providing assistance. Further, it is the subject’s responsibility to keep the Passport Program informed of any change of his or her contact information and/or that of his or her designated person or counsel.

Documents

Language of documents

  1. All correspondence and documents created or used during an investigation must be in English or French.
  2. If the subject or the Passport Program sends correspondence or provides a document that is not in either official language, the subject or the Passport Program, as the case may be, must provide an official translation in the language of the investigation, along with a signed statement by a certified translator who attests to the accuracy of the translation.
  3. When the Passport Program wants to use correspondence or documents that the subject created, provided or otherwise directly or indirectly generated, which is not in either official language, the Passport Program may require the subject to provide an official translation of the correspondence or document.

Delivering a document

A document or decision can be delivered to the subject and/or the person or lawyer assisting him or her by any of the following methods:

  1. by hand;
  2. by regular mail or registered mail;
  3. by courier or priority post;
  4. by fax if the subject provides a fax number and consents to receiving correspondence by fax;
  5. by electronic mail if the subject requests the correspondence electronically.

A document provided to the Passport Program by a subject is considered received on the day the document is date stamped by the Passport Program.

A document delivered by regular mail to a subject is to be considered received seven days after the date of mailing. If the seventh day is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a statutory holiday, the document is considered to have been received on the next working day.

If a document cannot be delivered

  1. Where, after making a reasonable effort during the course of an investigation, the Passport Program is unable to deliver a document to, or correspond with, a subject, the Passport Program may provide the document by any other reasonable means or shall be exonerated from delivering the document.
  2. Where, after making a reasonable effort, the decision-maker is unable to communicate the decision to the subject to whom the decision relates, the decision-maker shall be exonerated from communicating the decision and the decision remains effective from the date it was rendered.

Information on file

Intent to defraud

  1. To determine whether any of the grounds to refuse to issue a passport, to revoke a passport or to refuse passport services pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Order exists, there is no need to prove intent on the part of the subject, including intent to defraud the Government of Canada, a foreign government or any other person.
  2. Copies of original documents are acceptable unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that the originals and/or copies are fraudulent.

Material information

A statement (written or oral) contained in, or referred to in, a report or document that was made by a person other than the author of the report or document is given probative value unless there are grounds to believe that the report or statement was made under circumstances that, presumably, would render the report or statement untrustworthy. In making that determination, the Passport Program considers the following factors:

  1. lack of verifiable information to contradict the statement or report;
  2. the author of the report or statement was not an interested party in the sense that the report or statement was not in the author’s favour or does not procure a benefit for the author;
  3. the report or statement was made before the investigation by the Passport Program was launched;
  4. the report or statement goes against the author’s pecuniary, proprietary or penal interest;
  5. the report or statement was made in the course of the author’s business, duties or investigation;
  6. there was no apparent motive to misrepresent.

Offence committed abroad

When necessary, an equivalency test may be performed for investigations involving offences committed in a foreign country or state, to determine if essential elements of each offence correspond with Canadian law.

Investigations

Investigations carried out by the Passport Program are fact-finding oriented and aimed at determining whether there exists sufficient information, assessed on a balance of probabilities test, to support a decision to refuse the issuance of a passport or to revoke a passport on any of the grounds listed in sections 4, 9 and 10 of the Order and/or to impose, pursuant to section 10.2 or 10.3, an ineligibility period for passport services.

Communication with subject

The Passport Program shall communicate all material facts and information in its possession, relevant to the current investigation into specific passport related events or circumstances, to the subject in (an) investigation letter(s). The investigation letter(s) shall advise the subject of the procedure governing the investigation and the applicable sections of the Order. the Passport Program shall also provide the subject with the opportunity to respond to the information presented in the investigations letter(s).

An investigation letter may also include the following:

  1. the decision or action to be taken if no response is received from the subject within the time frame specified in the investigation letter;
  2. information regarding a refusal period for passport services including the starting date of the ineligibility period, if applicable.

 Responding to an investigation letter

A response to any investigation letter must be in writing. In a response, the subject must:

  1. provide reasons why the Passport Program should not proceed with action pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Order;
  2. provide any material fact, information or document the subject wants the Passport Program to consider when making a decision.

A response to an investigation letter must be received by the Passport Program within the time frame set out in the investigation letter, or within any other time frame the Passport Program may decide upon, depending on the circumstances of the file.

Where a subject provides a response to an investigation letter after the allotted opportunity to respond has elapsed but the investigation is not concluded, the subject must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Passport Program that it was not possible to respond within the allotted time frame.

When the Passport Program receives a response to an investigation letter after the allotted opportunity to respond has elapsed and the investigation is concluded, the information is forwarded to a decision maker for consideration.

 Investigation completed

  1. When an investigation is completed, the Passport Program shall send a final letter to the subject informing him or her of the conclusion of the investigation.
  2. Where the conclusion of the investigation does not support action pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Order, the letter informs the subject that his or her entitlement to passport services has been reinstated.
  3. Where the conclusion of the investigation supports action pursuant to sections 4, 9, 10, 10.2 and 10.3 of the Order, the investigation file is sent to a decision maker for a decision.
  4. An investigation file sent to a decision maker shall include:
    1. information obtained during the investigation to support the refusal of issuance and/or the revocation of a passport and the applicable section(s) of the Order as the basis for a decision;
    2. information obtained during the investigation to support a refusal period for passport services, during which the subject should be refused passport service including the starting date of the ineligibility period;
    3. any material facts, information and/or documents relevant to the decision to be made;
    4. copies of all correspondence sent to the subject;
    5. all submissions made by, or on behalf of, the subject.

Decision

Rendering a decision

  1. The decision maker must consider the written documents contained in the investigation file, including the subject’s submissions.
  2. There is no in-person interview before the decision maker.
  3. In rendering a decision, the decision maker may include any of the following:
    1. issue or return a passport issued in the name of the person whose entitlement to passport services has been under investigation;
    2. revoke a passport issued in the name of the person whose entitlement to passport services has been under investigation;
    3. refuse to issue a passport submitted in the name of the person whose entitlement to passport services has been under investigation;
    4. refuse passport services for a period of time.
  4. Where a decision to refuse the issuance of a passport or to revoke a passport is made, the decision maker decides whether to impose an ineligibility period and determines the duration of the period.
  5. Before making a decision, the decision maker may request that the Passport Program’s investigator, or the subject, provide any supplementary information or documents the decision maker deems necessary to make a decision.

Ineligibility period

  1. Where the subject is subject to criminal proceedings, including mobility restrictions or conditions associated with an interim release or sentencing Order, the end date of the ineligibility period may be extended until the completion of all criminal proceedings and/or sentencing; or, until the date the subject is no longer subject to any mobility restrictions specified in the conditions of the individual’s judicial interim release documents or any other court documents. The onus is on the subject to provide verifiable documentation demonstrating the conclusion of all criminal proceedings, sentences or removal or expiration of all court imposed mobility conditions or restrictions before entitlement to passport services is reinstated.
  2. Co-operation with the Passport Program during the course of an investigation may reduce the duration period of refusal of passport services.

 Reasons

  1. All the Passport Program decisions shall be in writing and shall include the name and signature of the decision maker as well as reason(s) for the decision.
  2. All the Passport Program decisions are final and take effect the date the decision is rendered. Subjects who choose to challenge a decision may do so by filing an application for judicial review before the Federal Court of Canada within thirty days of the date of the decision.

Passport service during an investigation

  1. Subjects whose entitlement to passport services is under investigation shall not be entitled to any passport services pending the conclusion of the investigation.
  2. Despite the preceding, where the subject submits a new, duly completed application with appropriate fees and provides information to the satisfaction of a decision maker, supporting the existence of a compassionate consideration that is urgent and for which his or her presence is compelled, the Passport Program may issue a limited validity passport containing geographical restrictions, under specific conditions agreed upon by the subject.
  3. Where the subject of an existing investigation applies for a passport based on urgent, compelling and compassionate considerations (UCCC), the Passport Program shall investigate and assess all material facts, information and documents submitted in support of the UCCC request separate from any existing investigation.
  4. Where a decision maker is of the view that the UCCC request for a passport shall be refused, a written decision outlining the reasons for the refusal is sent to the subject.

Passport service during a period of ineligibility

  1. Subjects who are under an ineligibility period shall not be entitled to any passport services pending the end of the ineligibility period.
  2. Despite the preceding, where the subject submits a new, duly completed application with appropriate fees and provides information to the satisfaction of a decision maker, supporting the existence of a compassionate consideration that is urgent and for which his or her presence is compelled, the Passport Program may issue a limited validity passport containing geographical restrictions, under specific conditions agreed on by the subject.
  3. Where a subject under an ineligibility period applies for a passport based on urgent, compelling and compassionate considerations (UCCC), the Passport Program shall investigate and assess all material facts, information and documents submitted in support of the UCCC request separate from any existing investigation.
  4. Where a decision maker is of the view that the UCCC request for a passport shall be refused, a written decision outlining the reasons for the refusal is sent to the subject.

Approval and review

  1. This process may be reviewed and any changes shall be posted on the Passport Program’s website.
  2. The process and any further changes shall be approved by the director general of the Security Bureau.
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