Revoking Canadian Citizenship: Beware if you didn’t disclose your past

Lots of news about the government cracking  down on citizenship fraud. Many applicants are not disclosing that they had past criminal records in order to obtain Canadian citizenship. The government is now looking back at these cases and is taking steps to revolk Canadian citizenship Applications and even move towards deportation. 

So what are the rules for Revoking Citizenship?

Section 10 of the Citizenship Act says that citizenship may be revoked if a person obtains citizenship through:

  • false representation;
  • fraud; or
  • knowingly concealing material circumstances.

The Citizenship Act also states that if a person acquired permanent resident status through false representation, and subsequently Canadian citizenship, then he or she obtained citizenship unlawfully.

So how does the Revocation of citizenship procedure work?

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration initiates the revocation process upon receiving information and evidence that a naturalized citizen unlawfully obtained citizenship or permanent resident status. Referrals for possible action usually come from Immigration, the CBSA, other external enforcement agencies, missions and poison pen letters. If it is found that misrepresentation occurred, revocation action will be initiated.

The Minister prepares a notice, sent by registered mail, to the affected person saying that the Minister intends to make a report to the Governor in Council recommending revocation of citizenship.

The notice sets out the basic allegations against the person. For example, the allegation might be that the person concealed criminal activities that would have prohibited him or her from being granted citizenship.

The subject of the revocation has 30 days in which to advise the Minister that he or she wishes his or her case to be referred to the Federal Court.

Revocation cases may take years to resolve. A person under revocation proceedings remains entitled to all rights and privileges of Canadian citizenship until the person’s citizenship is revoked by a Governor in Council Order.


Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: Canadian Citizen Canadian Citizenship Applications revoking canadian citizenship

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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