Citizenship revocation process: Choice of Federal Court or Minister

Ahmed Hussen

AHMED Hussen, federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on Monday that provisions of Bill C-6 involving changes to the citizenship revocation process have come into effect and any individual whose case is subject to possible revocation now has the choice to have their case heard and decided by the Federal Court, or to request that the Minister decide.

This improves the fairness of the process by allowing all individuals to choose to have their case decided by the Federal Court, an independent judicial body. The revocation process will also include an additional step, where IRCC officials review case submissions and decide whether or not to continue to proceed with revocation before it is referred to the Federal Court for decision.

In cases where individuals request to have the Minister decide, they would have an opportunity to seek leave to judicially review the Minister’s decision at the Federal Court.

Under the former decision-making model introduced in 2015 by Bill C-24, the Minister was the decision maker for cases of residence fraud, concealed criminality and identity fraud. The Federal Court was the decision maker only for cases of fraud relating to organized criminality, security, and human and international rights violations.

Hussen said: “In completing another important amendment to the Citizenship Act, the Government has delivered on our commitment expressed during the legislative process of Bill C-6 to enhance the procedural fairness of citizenship revocation. By continuing to build and improve this process, we are able to maintain the fairness and integrity of our program and uphold the value of Canadian citizenship.”

Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and make consequential amendments to another Act, received royal assent on June 19, 2017, and made changes to the revocation decision-making model introduced by Bill C-24.

More changes are expected to come into force later in 2018 include the new authority under the Citizenship Act for citizenship officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents.

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