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Archived - Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act: Revocation Provisions

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The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, included new grounds to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who are convicted of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received. The changes also enable the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada.

The technical amendments to the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act under the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act will allow the revocation and related provisions to come into force earlier than anticipated. These changes will help protect the safety and security of Canadians, and honour the contributions and sacrifices of those who serve Canada by ensuring those who are convicted of such crimes against Canada do not benefit from Canadian citizenship. Revocation is an important tool to safeguard the value of Canadian citizenship and to protect the integrity of the citizenship program.

New revocation grounds

The amendments will enable the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who are convicted of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received.

Amendments will also provide the authority for the Federal Court to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada.

New revocation process

Previously, the citizenship revocation process generally involved three steps: the Citizenship and Immigration Minister, the Federal Court and the Governor in Council. Under the new model, the Governor in Council will no longer have a role, resulting in a faster, more efficient process.

Under the new revocation process, the majority of revocation cases will be decided by the Citizenship and Immigration Minister, or his delegate. This will include cases involving residence fraud, concealing criminal inadmissibility, identity fraud or convictions of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received.

However, given that war crimes and crimes against humanity cases raise complex issues of fact and law, these more exceptional cases, along with other cases involving security, other human or international rights violations and organized criminality, will be decided by the Federal Court. In these revocation cases decided by the Federal Court, the court could also be asked to make a finding of inadmissibility as well as deciding on the revocation. This will allow for a removal order to be issued earlier in cases involving serious inadmissibility.

In addition to the above listed cases, decisions on revocation of citizenship for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada will also be decided by the Federal Court. There will be a permanent bar against granting citizenship for individuals whose citizenship has been revoked because they were members of an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada. Those convicted of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received, will also be permanently barred from acquiring citizenship.


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