21 July 2011
Immigration Minister Announces Citizenship Crackdown & New 10-yr Visas
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has stated that Ottawa has decided to revoke the citizenship of 1,800 people it believes obtained their status through fraudulent means. Given that fewer than 70 citizenships have been revoked since the Citizenship Act was passed in 1947, a large-scale crackdown like this is unprecedented.
These 1,800 individuals, many who are believed to be living outside Canada, were identified through investigations conducted across the country by police and CIC and will be receiving letters informing them of this decision.
This decision can be contested in Federal Court which can be a very lengthy process. Individuals who choose not to contest will have their passports voided and their citizenship revoked. Their status will return to the status they held prior to gaining citizenship.
While Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stated that he expected the vast majority of the revocations to be resolved quickly, others feel that many of the individuals will try to appeal the decision through Federal Court. The cost of the appeals could divert funds from other CIC initiatives such as settling new immigrants. Furthermore, the court system does not have the resources to handle so many cases at once.
Minister Kenney also announced a new 10-year travel visa for frequent visitors. The visa will allow limitless entrances to the country for up to six months.