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Citizenship Resumption

Are you a former citizen of Canada?
Would you like to resume your citizenship status?
At Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC we can help!

Individuals who previously held citizenship may resume their citizenship status under certain circumstances. Please note resumption of citizenship is not retroactive or retrospective, but begins following the administration of the oath of citizenship.

Eligibility for resumption of citizenship

Pursuant to subsection 11(1) of the Citizenship Act, the following persons may be eligible to resume citizenship status:  

11 (1) The Minister shall grant citizenship to any person who, having ceased to be a citizen,

(a) makes an application for resumption of citizenship;

(b) is not the subject of an order made under section 10, as it read immediately before the coming into force of section 8 of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, a decision made under section 10, a declaration made under section 10.1 or an order made under section 18 of the former Act;

(b.1) is not the subject of a declaration made under section 20;

(c) is not under a removal order; and

(d) has become a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, has, subject to the regulations, no unfulfilled conditions under that Act relating to his or her status as a permanent resident and has, since having ceased to be a citizen and become a permanent resident,

(i) been physically present in Canada for at least 365 days during the two years immediately before the date of the application, and

(ii) met any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file a return of income in respect of the taxation year immediately before the year in which the application is made.

Further to subsection 11(b) above, section 10 of the Citizenship Act defines when citizenship status may be revoked. As such, the above relates that persons whose citizenship status was previously revoked may not resume their status but must instead apply for a new grant of citizenship under section 5 of the Citizenship Act. Additionally, women who prior to 1947 lost their British subject status either because of their marriage to a foreign national or because of their husband acquiring a foreign nationality during their marriage may not resume citizenship, but may acquire citizenship status under subsection 11(2) of the Citizenship Act. Finally, persons who status was already resumed as a result of 2009 amendments to the Citizenship Act may not apply for resumption but may apply for a proof of citizenship.

Please note that applications from persons who are serving or have served in the Canadian Armed Forces and who wish to resume citizenship must be processed on a priority basis. Subsection 11(1)(d) does not apply to individuals who during the two years preceding the application completed six months of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. These persons must otherwise meet all the applicable requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act relating to their permanent resident status.

Please note that some requirements for eligibility vary depending on whether the application was submitted before, on or after 11 June 2015. Please contact our office for further information and clarification.

Application and Process

Persons hoping to resume citizenship status must submit an Application to resume Canadian citizenship under subsection 11(1). Supporting documents that must be submitted with the application include:

  • Birth Certificate or other evidence to demonstrate date and place of birth, plus two other identity documents;
  • Evidence of previous citizenship and cessation of status, including a renunciation certificate or naturalization certificate from a foreign country;
  • Canadian immigration records, including those demonstrating when the applicant was lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence after cessation of citizenship status;
  • Evidence that the applicant meets residency requirements; and
  • Processing fee.

Once the application is submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, the information will first be checked against existing citizenship records. Security and criminality clearances will also be requested. The file is then forwarded to a level 2 decision maker who assesses the applicant’s eligibility. If no concerns related to the application arise, the citizenship officer will grant the application and refer to the local office for scheduling of the citizenship ceremony. The citizenship ceremony process then proceeds routinely.

If concerns do arise, additional documentation may be requested. If this documentation is not provided, abandonment proceedings may be initiated. If the documentation is provided but does not clarify the officer’s concerns, the applicant will be referred for an interview with a level 2 decision maker. If following this interview concerns remain, the case is referred to a citizenship judge who will make a final decision. Finally, where it appears that the applicant is prohibited from obtaining citizenship status or is under a removal order, procedural fairness procedures will be initiated by the Case Processing Centre. The applicant may then request an in-person hearing, at which time the case will be referred to the local office who will make a final decision. If the applicant does not request an in-person hearing, then the application will not need to be referred.

Should you require assistance in applying for a resumption of citizenship, or in responding to a request for further documentation or procedural fairness procedures, please contact Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC.

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