Vol. 149, No. 12 — June 17, 2015


SOR/2015-119 May 29, 2015


Regulations Amending the Citizenship Regulations

P.C. 2015-631 May 28, 2015

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to section 27(1)(j.2) (see footnote a) of the Citizenship Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Citizenship Regulations.


1. The Citizenship Regulations (see footnote 1) are amended by adding the following after section 7.1:


7.2 A hearing may be held under subsection 10(4) of the Act on the basis of any of the following factors:

2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which subsection 24(5.1) of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, chapter 22 of the Statutes of Canada (2014), comes into force, but if they are registered after that day, they come into force on the day on which they are registered.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


On June 19, 2014, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (SCCA) [Bill C-24], which is the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act since 1977, received royal assent. The legislation stemmed from several Government commitments, including the 2010 and 2013 speeches from the Throne, and includes measures to

Revocation means removing someone’s citizenship. It is an important tool to safeguard the value of Canadian citizenship and to protect the integrity of the citizenship program. Under the current process, in order to revoke citizenship, the Governor in Council (GIC) has to be satisfied that the person obtained, retained, or resumed citizenship under the Citizenship Act by false representation, fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances (for example, by knowingly concealing information that could have impacted on his or her eligibility for citizenship or permanent residence).

Under this process, a person receives a notice from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) indicating the grounds on which the Minister is relying to make his decision. This notice includes a draft report of the Minister of CIC to the GIC. The person has two options: request that the Minister of CIC refer the matter to the Federal Court or make submissions on the report of the Minister to the GIC. If the Federal Court finds that citizenship was obtained by false representation, fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances, or if the case was not referred to the Federal Court, the Minister of CIC then submits a report to the GIC recommending that the GIC revoke the person’s citizenship. The person concerned is afforded another opportunity at this point to make submissions to the GIC before the decision is made. The GIC decides whether to revoke citizenship. This process takes an average of three years to complete. Depending on the circumstances that lead to the individual’s citizenship being revoked, they might revert back to foreign national status and become subject to removal from Canada pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

To protect and promote Canada’s interests and values, the SCCA introduced new grounds for revocation of Canadian citizenship and established a more streamlined decision-making process. The new grounds for revocation include the authority to revoke citizenship from dual citizens who have served as a member of an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada and/or those convicted of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying, depending on the sentence imposed.

Under the more streamlined decision-making process, the Minister of CIC will decide on revocation cases involving the convictions listed above and most cases involving fraud. The Federal Court will decide on cases of fraud involving concerns related to security, organized criminality, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and also cases involving membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada, given that such cases raise complex issues of fact and law. In revocation cases based on fraud decided by the Federal Court, the Court could also be asked to make a finding of inadmissibility.

The new revocation process will allow the vast majority of revocation cases to be decided by the Minister of CIC, making the system more efficient and less costly to the Government, while maintaining fairness.

Issues and objectives

In revocation proceedings where the Minister of CIC is the decision-maker, the Citizenship Act, as amended by the SCCA, provides that an oral hearing may be held if the Minister of CIC, on the basis of prescribed factors, is of the opinion that an oral hearing is required. The GIC is provided with the authority to make regulations to prescribe factors for the Minister to consider in deciding whether an oral hearing is required in a particular case.

The objective of these Regulations is therefore to prescribe these factors in the Citizenship Regulations.


The Regulations outline the factors that the Minister will consider in determining whether an oral hearing may be required under subsection 10(4) of the Citizenship Act. The factors are

The first factor listed above would provide the Minister with the discretion to hold an oral hearing if there is evidence that raises an issue of the person’s credibility. In cases where there exists conflicting evidence between the evidence the decision-maker has on file and the evidence submitted by the person concerned following the notice, an oral hearing may be necessary to obtain further information regarding this conflicting evidence. This would provide the individual subject to revocation proceedings with an opportunity to address that evidence, and provide the decision-maker with any additional information that may be necessary to decide the case.

The second factor listed above is intended to assist an individual who is unable to make a written submission. For example, this could include cases where an individual has a medical condition or if the individual is illiterate or has extremely limited written language skills.

The third factor listed above is intended to provide the Minister with the discretion to hold an oral hearing in those cases where an individual is facing revocation proceedings as a result of a foreign terrorism conviction. Before commencing a revocation proceeding in these cases, an assessment of the equivalency of the offence as well as the fairness of the judicial process in that country would be undertaken. If there is no equivalency of the offence in Canada, revocation would not be pursued. If there is equivalency of the offence, but if there is evidence that the judicial process was unfair, the Minister could decide not to pursue revocation. If revocation is ultimately pursued following these equivalency assessments, an oral hearing could be held to provide the concerned individual with an opportunity to supplement information and evidence available before the decision-maker, for example, with respect to the fairness of the process that resulted in the foreign conviction.


During the legislative process, the overall response to the SCCA was generally supportive. However, some concerns were raised with respect to the new revocation provisions, particularly in relation to the new revocation ground of a terrorism conviction and sentence for an offence committed outside Canada, because it may have resulted from an unfair process. These Regulations help address that concern by adding a factor for consideration by the Minister as to whether to hold an oral hearing in cases where the terrorism conviction and sentence is for an offence committed outside Canada, as described above.

A Notice of Intent proposing the factors listed above as possible regulatory amendments under consideration was posted in Part I of the Canada Gazette on November 15, 2014, for a 10-day comment period. Some interested stakeholders submitted comments, one of which indicated support for the new revocation provisions, while others expressed general concern with the new legislative provisions introduced by the SCCA. One stakeholder expressed concern with submission timelines, requesting more time to comment on a matter as important as procedural fairness during the revocation process. The proposed factors will assist in ensuring procedural fairness in the revocation process. Also, in addition to the possibility of an oral hearing, individuals subject to a revocation proceeding will receive a written notice which will set out the grounds for revocation, and the right to make written submissions and provide any additional evidence to the decision-maker. They will then receive the decision in writing and have an opportunity to seek judicial review with leave from the Federal Court. One stakeholder also proposed additional factors to be included for possible consideration by the Minister. These included factors with respect to revocation proceedings on the basis of fraud regarding an applicant’s intent to reside in Canada; in cases where the individual requested an oral hearing; and in cases where there are concerns about the fairness of the foreign judicial process where the terrorism conviction and sentence is for an offence committed outside Canada. The factors to be included in the Regulations are considered sufficient to accommodate a broad range of scenarios, including where there is contradictory evidence, or where additional assistance may be required for an individual. In the case of a foreign offence, the Minister has the authority to hold an oral hearing during which the person would have the opportunity to supplement information before the decision-maker, particularly with respect to the fairness of the foreign judicial process. As well, in any revocation proceeding, individuals would continue to have the opportunity to provide written submissions and any evidence they feel would support their case.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to these proposals, as they will not add to the administrative burden on businesses.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to these proposals, as there are no costs for small businesses.


Under the new decision-making process for revocations, the vast majority of revocation cases would be decided by the Minister of CIC. As a result, the new revocation process will be more efficient and less costly to the Government as decisions can be made more quickly in the majority of cases, while maintaining fairness. The legislation requires the Government to make new regulations to prescribe factors for the Minister of CIC to consider in deciding whether an oral hearing is required during the revocation process. That requirement is the basis for these Regulations.

In addition, the Regulations will create transparency, as the public will be informed of the circumstances in which an oral hearing may be held.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

There are minimal transitional costs associated with this regulatory change. These transitional activities include updating guidelines, Web pages and information technology systems, and hiring and training officers. These costs will be absorbed through internally available funds.

In addition to updating information technology systems, the implementation of these Regulations will require an update to the citizenship instrument of delegation, revision to program delivery instructions and the development of communications materials for the public and employees of CIC.

The oral hearings themselves can take place in Canada or through video conferencing before a final decision is made. Implementation details will be made available through program delivery instructions.


Teny Dikranian
Legislation and Program Policy Division
Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
180 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Fax: 613-991-2485
Email: citizenship-citoyennete@cic.gc.ca