Vol. 152, No. 2 — January 24, 2018
SI/2018-9 January 24, 2018
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CITIZENSHIP ACT AND TO MAKE CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO ANOTHER ACT
Order Fixing the Day on which this Order is registered as the Day on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force
P.C. 2018-11 January 11, 2018
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to subsection 27(3.1) of An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, chapter 14 of the Statutes of Canada, 2017, fixes the day on which this Order is registered as the day on which subsections 3(2) and (3) and 4(1) and (3) and section 5.1 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order in Council brings into force subsections 3(2), (3), 4(1), (3), and section 5.1 of An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act (formerly Bill C-6) on the day it is registered.
This Order in Council brings into force the provisions of An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act related to the new decision-making process for citizenship revocation, which will further enhance procedural fairness in the revocation process under the Citizenship Act.
The Government committed to making certain amendments to the Citizenship Act, as outlined in the mandate letter of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the 2015 Speech from the Throne. These commitments relate to
- repealing provisions in the Act that allow for the revocation of citizenship for certain acts against national interest, as they applied only to dual citizens;
- repealing the provision that citizenship applicants declare their intent to reside in Canada, which would eliminate any misperception that new Canadians would need to maintain an “intent to reside” even after obtaining citizenship; and
- making it easier for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada and contribute to the economic success of all Canadians.
Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, which received royal assent on June 19, 2017, reflects these commitments. It also includes changes to the process for the revocation of Canadian citizenship on the grounds of false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances.
Certain provisions came into force upon royal assent, including
- repealing the national interest grounds for citizenship revocation, and restoring citizenship to anyone who had it revoked on these grounds;
- repealing the intent to reside provision, and deeming that the requirement did not apply to any person who acquired citizenship while this provision was in force;
- clarifying that conditional sentence orders are included in the prohibitions to acquiring citizenship;
- clarifying that all applicants must meet citizenship requirements up until the taking of the citizenship oath; and
- removing the age requirement for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act, thereby allowing minors to apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent.
Provisions related to changes to physical presence and language and knowledge requirements came into force on October 11, 2017, by Order in Council.
The provisions related to the seizure of suspected fraudulent documents will come into force at a later date, once supporting regulatory amendments are finalized for publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
Effect of the Order
This Order in Council brings into force provisions of An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act that relate to the new decision-making process for the revocation of citizenship obtained by false representation, fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances. The new process applies to all decisions to revoke citizenship on the basis of false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances including cases involving the concealing of facts relating to inadmissibility for security, human or international rights violations or organized criminality. Under this process, all cases will be referred to the Federal Court for decision unless the person elects to have their case decided by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
These provisions do not apply to cases that are already before the Federal Court for decision under the decision-making model introduced by the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. These provisions also do not apply to cases that continue to be decided by the Governor in Council under the former decision-making model as a result of the transitional provisions of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.
An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act was considered by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in 2016 and then by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology in 2017 with stakeholders representing interests and giving testimony on the legislation and its anticipated impact.
The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration conducted five meetings on the Act, received written briefs and heard from more than 15 witnesses, including representatives from many stakeholder organizations. Overall, measures contained in Bill C-6 to facilitate access to citizenship received support, with most of the criticism directed to the changes related to revocation grounds as well as the lack of changes to the Minister’s authority to revoke citizenship on grounds of false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances in the original version of the Bill.
The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology conducted four meetings where witnesses and representatives of stakeholder groups were invited to appear. As with the House Standing Committee, Senate Committee members generally supported the changes with some criticism raised regarding the revocation process.
As part of the legislative process, both the House and the Senate passed the amended version of the Bill, which includes the changes to the process for the revocation of citizenship.
Legislation and Program Policy
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