Loss and Renunciation of Citizenship (17:VII)

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on August 16, 2021.



There are few reasons for losing Canadian citizenship under the current Citizenship Act. These are outlined in Part II of the Act, and may occur:

a)Where a person renounced his or her citizenship by application.
b)Where a person has been admitted to Canada for permanent residence by false representation, fraud, or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.
c)Where a person became a citizen by false representation, fraud, or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.

Note that the Act now provides that if a person obtained their citizenship through false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances (including in the permanent resident process), they cannot re-apply for citizenship for 10 years from the date of their loss of citizenship. A person whose citizenship was revoked cannot apply for resumption of citizenship under s. 11(1) but must meet all requirements of the Act under s. 5(1).

Any person whose citizenship is revoked due to a conviction for terrorism, high treason, treason, or spying offences, depending on the sentence received, or for serving as a member of an armed force of a country or an organized armed group engaged in armed conflict against Canada is permanently barred from being granted citizenship.

NOTE: If a person became a permanent resident by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances and, because of having acquired that status, the person subsequently obtained or resumed citizenship, then the person has obtained or resumed his or her citizenship by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.

NOTE: Under amendments introduced in Bill C-6 which are not yet in force, the Federal Court will be the decision-maker in all revocation cases, unless the individual requests that the Minister make the decision. The law will also give Citizenship Officers clear authority to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents in citizenship applications.

© Copyright 2021, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.