Citizenship Refusals

Requirements for citizenship are provided under s. 5(1) of the Citizenship Act and include the following main factors:

  1. The applicant must be over the age of eighteen
  2. The applicant must be a permanent resident, and within the four years immediately preceding the date of his or her application must have resided in Canada for at least three years
  3. The applicant must also have an adequate knowledge of English or French and of the responsibilities and privileges of Canadian citizenship.

These requirements are anticipated to change in 2015, as the Citizenship Act was amended by Parliament in June 2014. For more information on filing a citizenship application and upcoming changes, please click here.


If your application for Canadian citizenship is refused, this decision may be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada. The first step in the appeal process involves filing a Notice of Application to the Federal Court within 30 days of receipt of the decision from Citizenship. This timeline is very important.

For more information on the Federal Court process, please click here.

Depending upon why your citizenship application was refused, a new application for citizenship may be your best option. This can occur when you were not actually in Canada for three years, depending on the legal test applied by the Citizenship Judge. We can review the decision and advise on the strength of a Federal Court challenge.

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