An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (S.C. 2014, c. 22)

Assented to 2014-06-19

An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

S.C. 2014, c. 22

Assented to 2014-06-19

An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Citizenship Act to, among other things, update eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship, strengthen security and fraud provisions and amend provisions governing the processing of applications and the review of decisions.

Amendments to the eligibility requirements include

  • (a) clarifying the meaning of being resident in Canada;

  • (b) modifying the period during which a permanent resident must reside in Canada before they may apply for citizenship;

  • (c) expediting access to citizenship for persons who are serving in, or have served in, the Canadian Armed Forces;

  • (d) requiring that an applicant for citizenship demonstrate, in one of Canada’s official languages, knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship;

  • (e) specifying the age as of which an applicant for citizenship must demonstrate the knowledge referred to in paragraph (d) and must demonstrate an adequate knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages;

  • (f) requiring that an applicant meet any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file a return of income;

  • (g) conferring citizenship on certain individuals and their descendants who may not have acquired citizenship under prior legislation;

  • (h) extending an exception to the first-generation limit to citizenship by descent to children born to or adopted abroad by parents who were themselves born to or adopted abroad by Crown servants; and

  • (i) requiring, for a grant of citizenship for an adopted person, that the adoption not have circumvented international adoption law.

Amendments to the security and fraud provisions include

  • (a) expanding the prohibition against granting citizenship to include persons who are charged outside Canada for an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament or who are serving a sentence outside Canada for such an offence;

  • (b) expanding the prohibition against granting citizenship to include persons who, while they were permanent residents, engaged in certain actions contrary to the national interest of Canada, and permanently barring those persons from acquiring citizenship;

  • (c) aligning the grounds related to security and organized criminality on which a person may be denied citizenship with those grounds in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and extending the period during which a person is barred from acquiring citizenship on that basis;

  • (d) expanding the prohibition against granting citizenship to include persons who, in the course of their application, misrepresent material facts and prohibiting new applications by those persons for a specified period;

  • (e) increasing the period during which a person is barred from applying for citizenship after having been convicted of certain offences;

  • (f) increasing the maximum penalties for offences related to citizenship, including fraud and trafficking in documents of citizenship;

  • (g) providing for the regulation of citizenship consultants;

  • (h) establishing a hybrid model for revoking a person’s citizenship in which the Minister will decide the majority of cases and the Federal Court will decide the cases related to inadmissibility based on security grounds, on grounds of violating human or international rights or on grounds of organized criminality;

  • (i) increasing the period during which a person is barred from applying for citizenship after their citizenship has been revoked;

  • (j) providing for the revocation of citizenship of dual citizens who, while they were Canadian citizens, engaged in certain actions contrary to the national interest of Canada, and permanently barring these individuals from reacquiring citizenship; and

  • (k) authorizing regulations to be made respecting the disclosure of information.

Amendments to the provisions governing the processing of applications and the review of decisions include

  • (a) requiring that an application must be complete to be accepted for processing;

  • (b) expanding the grounds and period for the suspension of applications and providing for the circumstances in which applications may be treated as abandoned;

  • (c) limiting the role of citizenship judges in the decision-making process, subject to the Minister periodically exercising his or her power to continue the period of application of that limitation;

  • (d) giving the Minister the power to make regulations concerning the making and processing of applications;

  • (e) providing for the judicial review of any matter under the Act and permitting, in certain circumstances, further appeals to the Federal Court of Appeal; and

  • (f) transferring to the Minister the discretionary power to grant citizenship in special cases.

Finally, the enactment makes consequential amendments to the Federal Courts Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.

R.S., c. C-29CITIZENSHIP ACT

Marginal note:2008, c. 14, s. 2(1)
  •  (1) The portion of subparagraph 3(1)(f)(ii) of the French version of the Citizenship Act before clause (A) is replaced by the following:

    • (ii) sa citoyenneté a été révoquée pour cause de fausse déclaration, fraude ou dissimulation de faits essentiels au titre de l’une des dispositions suivantes :

  • (2) Subsection 3(1) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of subparagraph (i)(iii) and by adding the following after paragraph (j):

    • (k) the person, before January 1, 1947, was born or naturalized in Canada but ceased to be a British subject, and did not become a citizen on that day;

    • (l) the person, before April 1, 1949, was born or naturalized in Newfoundland and Labrador but ceased to be a British subject, and did not become a citizen on or before that day;

    • (m) the person, on January 1, 1947, was a British subject neither born nor naturalized in Canada and was ordinarily resident in Canada, and did not become a citizen on that day;

    • (n) the person, on April 1, 1949, was a British subject neither born nor naturalized in Newfoundland and Labrador and was ordinarily resident there, and did not become a citizen on or before that day;

    • (o) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before January 1, 1947 to a parent who is a citizen under paragraph (k) or (m), and the person did not become a citizen on that day;

    • (p) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before April 1, 1949 to a parent who is a citizen under paragraph (l) or (n), and the person did not become a citizen on or before that day;

    • (q) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before January 1, 1947 to a parent who became a citizen on that day under the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, and the person did not become a citizen on that day; or

    • (r) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before April 1, 1949 to a parent who became a citizen on that day under section 44A of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1949, c. 6, and the person did not become a citizen on or before that day.

  • (3) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

    • Marginal note:For greater certainty

      (1.01) For greater certainty, the reference to “Canada” in paragraphs (1)(k), (m) and (o) to (r) is a reference to Canada as it existed immediately before the union of Newfoundland and Labrador with Canada.

  • (4) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

    • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

      (1.1) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (g) or (h) for the sole reason that, on the coming into force of this subsection, his or her parent  —  referred to in one of those paragraphs  —  is deceased, is a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (g) or (h) if that parent, but for his or her death, would have been a citizen under paragraph (1)(f), (i) or (j).

  • (5) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1.1):

    • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

      (1.2) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (g), (h), (o) or (p) for the sole reason that, on the coming into force of this subsection, his or her parent  —  referred to in one of those paragraphs  —  is deceased, is a citizen under that paragraph if that parent, but for his or her death, would have been a citizen under any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (n).

    • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

      (1.3) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(q) for the sole reason that his or her parent died before January 1, 1947 and did not become a citizen on that day under the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, is, nonetheless, a citizen under that paragraph if his or her parent would have been a citizen if that Act had come into force immediately before their death and the date referred to in the provisions of that Act that set out the requirements to be met to become a citizen had been the day of that coming into force rather than January 1, 1947.

    • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

      (1.4) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(r) for the sole reason that his or her parent died before April 1, 1949 and did not become a citizen on that day under section 44A of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1949, c. 6, is, nonetheless, a citizen under that paragraph if his or her parent would have been a citizen if that Act had come into force immediately before their death and the date referred to in the provisions of that Act that set out the requirements to be met to become a citizen had been the day of that coming into force rather than April 1, 1949.

  • (6) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

    • Marginal note:Not applicable  — paragraphs (1)(k), (m), (o) and (q)

      (2.1) Paragraphs (1)(k), (m), (o) and (q) do not apply to a person if

      • (a) before January 1, 1947, the person made a declaration of alienage, had his or her status as a British subject revoked or ceased to be a British subject as a consequence of the revocation of another person’s status as a British subject; or

      • (b) the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after January 1, 1947 and subsequently

        • (i) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F), or

        • (ii) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

    • Marginal note:Not applicable  — paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h)

      (2.2) Paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h) do not apply to a person  —  who, but for this subsection, would be a citizen under one of those paragraphs for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k), (m), (o) and (q)  —  if the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after January 1, 1947 and subsequently

      • (a) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F); or

      • (b) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

    • Marginal note:Not applicable  — paragraphs (1)(l), (n), (p) and (r)

      (2.3) Paragraphs (1)(l), (n), (p) and (r) do not apply to a person if

      • (a) before April 1, 1949, the person made a declaration of alienage, had his or her status as a British subject revoked or ceased to be a British subject as a consequence of the revocation of another person’s status as a British subject; or

      • (b) the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after April 1, 1949 and subsequently

        • (i) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F), or

        • (ii) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

    • Marginal note:Not applicable  — paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h)

      (2.4) Paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h) do not apply to a person  —  who, but for this subsection, would be a citizen under one of those paragraphs for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(l), (n), (p) and (r)  —  if the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after April 1, 1949 and subsequently

      • (a) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F); or

      • (b) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 14, ss. 2(2) and 13(2)

    (7) The portion of subsection 3(3) of the Act before paragraph (b) is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Not applicable  — after first generation

      (3) Paragraphs (1)(b) and (f) to (j) do not apply to a person born outside Canada

      • (a) if, at the time of his or her birth, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (c.1), (e), (g) or (h), or both of the person’s parents were citizens under any of those paragraphs; or

  • (8) The portion of subsection 3(3) of the Act before paragraph (b) is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Not applicable  — after first generation

      (3) Paragraphs (1)(b), (f) to (j), (q) and (r) do not apply to a person born outside Canada

      • (a) if, at the time of his or her birth, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (c.1), (e), (g), (h), (o), (p), (q) or (r) or both of the person’s parents were citizens under any of those paragraphs;

      • (a.1) if the person was born before January 1, 1947 and, on that day, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(o) or (q), or both of the person’s parents were citizens under either of those paragraphs;

      • (a.2) if the person was born before April 1, 1949 and, on that day, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(p) or (r), or both of the person’s parents were citizens under either of those paragraphs; or

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 14, s. 2(2)

    (9) The portion of paragraph 3(3)(b) of the French version of the Act before subparagraph (i) is replaced by the following:

    • b) à un moment donné, seul le père ou la mère avait qualité de citoyen, et ce, au titre de l’une des dispositions ci-après, ou les deux parents avaient cette qualité au titre de l’une de celles-ci :

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 14, s. 2(2)

    (10) Subsection 3(4) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Exception  — transitional provision

      (4) Subsection (3) does not apply to a person who, on the coming into force of that subsection, was a citizen. However, that subsection applies to a person who, on that coming into force, would have been a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) or (g) only by operation of any of paragraphs (7)(d) to (g) in respect of one of his or her parents.

  • (11) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (4):

    • Marginal note:Exception  — transitional provision

      (4.1) Subsection (3) does not apply to a person who, on the coming into force of this subsection, was a citizen. However, that subsection applies to a person who, on that coming into force, would have been a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) or (g) only by operation of paragraph (7)(i), (k) or (m) in respect of one of his or her parents.

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 14, s. 2(2)

    (12) Subsection 3(5) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Exception  — child or grandchild of person in service abroad

      (5) Subsection (3) does not apply to a person

      • (a) born to a parent who, at the time of the person’s birth, was employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person;

      • (b) born to a parent one or both of whose parents, at the time of that parent’s birth, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person; or

      • (c) born to a parent one or both of whose adoptive parents, at the time of that parent’s adoption, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person.

  • (13) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (5):

    • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant  — grandchild of person in service abroad

      (5.1) A person who is born outside Canada to a parent referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) and who is either a citizen under prior legislation or the former Act  —  other than under any provision referred to in subparagraphs (3)(b)(i) to (viii)  —  or was granted citizenship under paragraph 5(2)(a) of this Act, as it read before April 17, 2009, or under subsection 5(1), (2) or (4) or 11(1) of this Act is deemed, as of the coming into force of this subsection, never to have been a citizen by way of grant:

      • (a) a parent one or both of whose parents, at the time of that parent’s birth, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person; or

      • (b) a parent one or both of whose adoptive parents, at the time of that parent’s adoption, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person.

    • Marginal note:Non-application of subsection (5.1)

      (5.2) Subsection (5.1) does not apply to a person born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 who, before April 17, 2009, ceased to be a citizen because he or she failed to make an application to retain his or her citizenship under section 8, as it read before April 17, 2009, or made an application but the application was not approved.

  • (14) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (6):

    • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant  —  certain children born after February 14, 1977

      (6.1) A person who was born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 and who, before the coming into force of this subsection, was granted citizenship under section 5 is deemed never to have been a citizen by way of grant if

      • (a) he or she was born to a parent who was born in Canada and who is a citizen under paragraph (1)(f) or (i); or

      • (b) he or she was born to a parent who was born outside Canada to parents neither of whom was a citizen at the time of that parent’s birth, and who is a citizen under paragraph (1)(f) or (i).

  • (15) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (6.1):

    • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant

      (6.2) A person referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (r)  —  or a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b) or (g) who is a citizen under that paragraph for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (n)  —  who became a citizen by way of grant before the coming into force of this subsection is deemed, except for the purposes of paragraph (2.1)(b), subsection (2.2), paragraph (2.3)(b), subsection (2.4) and subparagraphs 27(j.1)(ii) and (iii), never to have been a citizen by way of grant.

    • Marginal note:Deemed application

      (6.3) A person who is referred to in paragraph (1)(k), (l), (m) or (n) and also in paragraph (1)(o), (p), (q) or (r) is deemed to be a citizen only under that paragraph (o), (p), (q) or (r).

  • (16) Subsection 3(7) of the Act is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (f), by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (g) and by adding the following after paragraph (g):

    • (h) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b) who is a citizen under that paragraph for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are referred to in paragraph (1)(f) or (i) is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) from the time that he or she was born.

  • (17) Subsection 3(7) of the Act is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (g) and by adding the following after paragraph (h):

    • (i) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b) who is a citizen under that paragraph for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (n) is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) from the time that he or she was born;

    • (j) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(k) or (m) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of January 1, 1947;

    • (k) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(o) or (q) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of January 1, 1947;

    • (l) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(l) or (n) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of April 1, 1949; and

    • (m) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(p) or (r) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of April 1, 1949.

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 14, s. 2(2)

    (18) The portion of subsection 3(8) of the Act before paragraph (b) is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Limitation

      (8) For any period before the day on which subsection (7) first takes effect with respect to a person,

      • (a) subsection (7) does not have the effect of conferring any rights, powers or privileges  —  or imposing any obligations, duties or liabilities  —  under any Act of Parliament other than this Act or any other law on the person or on any other person who may have any of those rights, powers, privileges, obligations, duties and liabilities as a result of the first person becoming a citizen; and

  • (19) Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (8):

    • Definition of “by way of grant”

      (9) In subsections (2.1) to (2.4) and (6.2), “by way of grant” means by way of grant under this Act or under prior legislation, by way of acquisition under this Act or by way of resumption under prior legislation.

 
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