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Passport Refusals

Are you a Citizen of Canada? 
Have you been refused a Canadian passport?
Has your passport been revoked, suspended or cancelled? 
At Bellissimo Law Group PC we can help!

Both the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness have the authority to refuse to issue a passport, or to revoke, suspend or cancel an existing passport. There must be sufficient reliable information to support the decision of either Minister.

Grounds for refusal, revocation, suspension or cancellation

Passport Refusal

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may refuse to issue a passport to a person for a number of reasons. These include (but are not limited to) findings that the applicant:

  • is not a Canadian citizen;
  • has provided false information during the process of applying for a passport, or has not provided all required information (including requested information and material);
  • is charged with an indicted offence either in Canada or abroad, is imprisoned either in Canada or abroad, or is subject to court-imposed conditions that have the effect of preventing possession of a passport;
  • has been convicted of a passport offence under the Criminal Code of Canada or under equivalent legislation outside of Canada;
  • there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the passport must be cancelled in order to prevent the commission of sexual offences against children outside of Canada; or
  • the Public Safety Minister believes that the decision is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence, pursuant to s. 2 of the Criminal of Canada, or for reasons of national of Canada or a foreign country or state.

Note that intent must not be established in order to support a decision to refuse a passport.

Passport Suspension

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada may refuse passport services to a passport bearer who has failed to pay child support or alimony and thus can be subject to the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistant Act. Intent need not be established when deciding to refuse passport services. Where a passport has been suspended it must be returned to the Passport Program. If it is not returned, then it will be cancelled. If the suspension ends before passport expiry, it is returned to the bearer. 

Passport Cancellation

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may cancel a passport to a person on the following grounds:

  • the passport holder is deceased;
  • a request to return the passport was issued pursuant to s. 11 of the Order but the passport holder has failed to do so;
  • there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the passport must be cancelled in order to prevent the commission of sexual offences against children outside of Canada; or
  • the Public Safety Minister believes that the decision is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence, pursuant to s. 2 of the Criminal of Canada, or for reasons of national of Canada or a foreign country or state.

Note that the cancellation of the passport renders it invalid for travel. Following cancellation, officials assess whether there are grounds to revoke the passport. Where insufficient grounds exist to revoke, a new passport will be issued with the same expiry date as the cancelled passport.

Passport Revocation

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may revoke a passport to a person for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • the passport holder is no longer a Canadian citizen;
  • the passport was obtained through the provision of false or misleading information;
  • the passport is used in, or to assist with, the commission of an indictable offence either in Canada or a similar offence outside of Canada;
  • the passport was used by an individual other than the passport holder with their permission; or
  • the Public Safety Minister believes that the decision is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence, pursuant to s. 2 of the Criminal of Canada, or for reasons of national of Canada or a foreign country or state.

Note that intent must not be established in order to support a decision to revoke a passport.

Investigation Process

Investigations are usually divided into two categories (category one and two) based on the types of incidents being investigated. The process remains the same for each category, however. Investigations that could result in refusal, revocation, suspension or cancellation of a passport are concerned with fact finding. Material gathered in assessing whether to refuse or revoke a passport is weighed on a balance of probabilities. Persons subject to these investigations must be informed in writing of the material facts and information available, as well as the procedure governing investigations and applicable sections of the Order. Persons should be provided with the opportunity to respond to this information within a specified time frame given in the investigation letter. The decision to refuse or revoke may be accompanied by an ineligibility period determined by the decision maker, lasting up to 10 years.

Final Decisions

Following assessment of this response (if provided) a final decision is rendered. Where the investigation does not support proceeding with refusal, revocation or cancellation, the subject will be informed that their passport entitlements have been reinstated. Where the investigation supports action, the file is sent to a decision making for a final decision. The decision maker may then decide to: 1) issue or return a passport; 2) revoke a passport; 3) refuse to issue a passport; or 4) refuse passport services for a period of time.

What can be done?

In the event that you have been refused issue of a passport, your passport is revoked and/or you have been refused passport services, you may seek leave and judicial review of the decision in Federal Court. Here at Bellissimo Law Group PC we pride ourselves on being one of the leading law firms that deal with refusals and citizenship and immigration litigation.

Individuals whose passports have been cancelled by a decision of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may apply for reconsideration of the cancellation to the Passport Cancellation Reconsideration Office. This application must be made within 30 days of the date that the cancellation was communicated to the subject. Following submission of the application, subjects will be provided with reasons for the cancellation. The subject may thereafter provide information in support of the application for reconsideration. The Minister will review this application and render a decision. Where the cancellation is maintained, this decision may be challenged at the Federal Court of Canada.

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Important Immigration Court Decisions


What Our Clients Say
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Our immigration process was handled by Bellissimo Law Group. The first consultation with Mr Bellissimo was very insightful. Ms Keely Anderson was particularly very helpful. She guided us through the process. I will definitely recommend this law firm. They know what they are doing. Thanks once again for guiding us through the process.
Dare Sokoya
Dare Sokoya
19:27 28 Mar 19
I greatly recommend Bellissimo Law Group. After a long time waiting, I will finally be reunited with my son here in Canada. We are very grateful for all the great, very professional services that they have done for my case. My personal thanks to Kelly Anderson and her group. More power to all of you!
michele medalla
michele medalla
23:36 04 Mar 19
I wish I’d found Bellissimo Law 9 years ago before taking the advice of a so called Immigration Consultant who led our family to a very costly near disaster in our quest to immigrate to join our family in Canada. Years later, in desperation, at a Procedural Fairness Letter stage internet research seemed to suggest Bellissimo Law may be the company to deal with our problem. From the first consultation with Bellissimo Law their extremely thorough, very focused telephone interview personified professionalism and reassurance. All subsequent dealings with any member of the team were of the same high standard. It was clear to us that Mario Bellissimo leads from the front and that his staff not only respect him but that they are trained to match his standards and caring approach. I believe it is very important to mention that although they seem expensive, when our particular problem resolved more quickly and easily than anticipated they refunded the money which had not yet been used. Thanks particularly to Keely, our lead person, and to all at Bellissimo. I will always, highly recommend Bellissimo Law. Keep up the good work. In less than 6 months all our worries are over. We are now permanent residents.
Patricia Forsythe
Patricia Forsythe
23:33 22 Mar 19
Very professional and very informative on the phone. Good to see that it is not all about money and more about relationship building. Highly recommended. Thank you!
Atabak Amirabrahimi
Atabak Amirabrahimi
17:19 16 Apr 19
Great service and successfully guided us through the immigration and citizenship processes. Terrific attention to detail, and created a terrific case for our application, which was successfully approved. Attached is a picture with the judge. A wonderful day. So proud to be a Canadian!
Carlos Berber
Carlos Berber
15:45 26 May 19
Bellísimo law group made a dream a reality. They help me throughout the entire process of becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Great service. I will definitely use their services again in the future. Highly recommended
Jose Rendon
Jose Rendon
01:01 29 May 19
We had a fantastic experience with Bellissimo Law Group. From Mr. Bellissimo to the entire staff, in particular Viola Gniadek, were professional, diligent, knowledgeable and available at all times. We thank the entire group for a successful resolution for my friend Catherine. I would highly recommend the firm for any and all of your immigration needs. Thank you all for a job well done!
Liliana Pelech
Liliana Pelech
14:53 01 Jun 19
I sponsored my parents in 2007 and I was refused in 2013 based on medical inadmissibility of my mentally challenged brother. I found Late Mr. Rotenberg as my original lawyer who passed away during the process. I was very disappointed as I was counting on his expertise to help me with my situation. Mr. Bellissimo was God send for me to help me with my case. I am very thankful that he took on my case. His team member Ms. Tamara Thomas worked with me and advised me with regards to the documents that I needed to obtain, they did extensive research on eligibility criteria of various social and health systems. They worked with me on the interview preparation. The time spend working with them was very targeted and very specific to address the Minister's concerns. They ensured there was no further waste in time or any delays. The way they presented my case and helped me win it only a world class Law firm can do that as there were times I was going to lose my hopes. I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through similar situation as mine with both hands down. Mr. Bellissimo and the team (Ms. Tamara Thomas) you guys are amazing and thank you so much again for reuniting me with my family in my beautiful dream country Canada.
Irshad Khan
Irshad Khan
17:46 04 Jun 19
They’re very professional and the advice was given 100% accurate. The lawyer Justin Toh didn’t rush at all. He took the time to answer all our questions in details. I’m very happy with their service.
Shah Alam
Shah Alam
21:15 09 Jul 19
Great service! I had a lot of questions prepared and Viola answered each and every one of them articulately and concisely. I definitely recommend Bellissimo!
RYAN COWLEY
RYAN COWLEY
17:39 30 Jul 19
Hands down i would never done it by myself if it wasn't for Mr. Mario and Ms. Anderson hard work, I was facing deportation and they helped me step by step to get through it to be honest I am very forgetful person and Ms. Anderson always keep me on track and follow up with me making sure i get things done and send to her and they always keep me updated on everything, I am no longer facing such difficulties and i can stay in Canada. i would recommend Bellissiomo Law Group to all friends and Family. thank you again.
Omid Rezaee
Omid Rezaee
16:00 12 Aug 19
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Bellissimo Law Group did a wonderful job. They helped me and my family obtain work permits in Canada. They were responsive, professional, and got the job done in a timely manner with no issues. I would absolutely work with them in the future.
Eric Blomster
Eric Blomster
11:58 30 Aug 19
Bellissimo Law Firm has great lawyers who have handled our immigration case. The staff was very professional. We are very happy with their service.We had to go through a tough ordeal because of misrepresentation earlier and our file was rejected. That is when we assigned this case to Mario Bellissimo. I would happily refer his law firm to any one whose in the same situation as ours or any immigration related matter.I would like to mention a special thanks to Tamara who was in touch with us and kept as posted. Mario had 100% confidence in our case that we will win which was very assuring for me and my family. And we finally got our permanent residency.God bless him and his firm.
mubina fatima
mubina fatima
18:35 15 Sep 19