ARCHIVED — Vol. 149, No. 9 — February 28, 2015

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Regulations Amending the Citizenship Regulations

Statutory authority

Citizenship Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Citizenship and Immigration

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

On June 19, 2014, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (SCCA) received royal assent. This was the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act since 1977. Several provisions of the Act came into effect upon royal assent and by Order on August 1, 2014. However, a number of provisions have yet to be brought into force, as they require supporting regulatory amendments. These include the following:

  1. information sharing;
  2. “lost Canadians” and grants of citizenship for adopted persons; and
  3. accompanying persons at hearings with citizenship judges.
1. Information sharing
Social insurance numbers

The SCCA contains new provisions requiring citizenship applicants to file their taxes, when required to do so under the Income Tax Act, and meet new residency requirements, in order to be eligible to obtain Canadian citizenship. To implement these new requirements, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) must be able to directly verify tax filing and residence requirements with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as part of citizenship determination. However, access to the CRA’s secure verification process requires the individual’s social insurance number (SIN), to ensure that accurate information is being provided on the correct client.

There is currently no authority under the Citizenship Act or the Citizenship Regulations (the Regulations) to enable CIC to collect the SIN for the purposes of exchanging information with the CRA. As a result, for verification of residence, CIC is currently using the CRA notices of assessment, a process that is known to be vulnerable to fraud, is less reliable, and is an inefficient use of the CRA and CIC resources.

Citizenship representatives

Unscrupulous citizenship representatives have helped hundreds of individuals obtain citizenship through fraudulent means. As of October 2013, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was investigating cases involving more than 3 000 Canadian citizens and 5 000 permanent residents. New measures in the SCCA, which provide the authority for the Minister to designate a body to regulate citizenship representatives and allow for information sharing on the professional and ethical actions of the representatives, will help decrease citizenship fraud and uphold the integrity of Canada’s citizenship program. To implement these new authorities, regulatory amendments are needed to share information with the body so it can govern or investigate the conduct of citizenship representatives, as well as to evaluate whether the body is governing its members in the public interest.

CIC partners and other government organizations

There are a number of key partners involved in administering and enforcing immigration, citizenship and passport programs, and delivering programs and services to Canadian citizens. For example, various lines of business within CIC involve the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC); federal, provincial and territorial organizations responsible for delivering programs and services; and enforcement partners such as the RCMP. There is a need to clarify and make explicit the legislative authority for CIC to share personal information through its different business lines and with these partners. In the past, CIC has relied on the Privacy Act to support some information sharing. However, this has created uncertainty regarding what information can and should be shared, and has limited CIC’s ability to share information for the following purposes:

  • to improve service and integrity across different lines of business responsible for CIC programs;
  • to validate citizenship status for the delivery of federal, provincial or territorial programs and services;
  • to proactively notify federal, provincial or territorial programs of changes in citizenship status; and
  • to validate the identity or citizenship status of individuals for enforcement partners for enforcement or investigation purposes.
2. “Lost Canadians” and grants of citizenship for adopted persons
Citizenship renunciation for “lost Canadians”

A number of “lost Canadians” will automatically acquire Canadian citizenship under the SCCA. However, those who do not want it would not have access to the simplified renunciation process that is available to many “lost Canadians” who acquired citizenship through previous amendments to the Citizenship Act in 2009. These individuals would need to apply to renounce their citizenship through the regular renunciation process, involving additional requirements, such as residency in Canada and undergoing security and criminality screening, which could be cumbersome for the applicant. Further, certain individuals may need to renounce citizenship quickly where automatic acquisition of Canadian citizenship could be problematic due to the laws of other countries.

Citizenship grants for persons adopted before 1947

In line with extending Canadian citizenship to more “lost Canadians,” the SCCA also extends the adoption grant of citizenship to those adopted before January 1, 1947 (or April 1, 1949, in the case of Newfoundland and Labrador), by a parent who became a Canadian citizen on either of those dates. The Regulations set out the factors decision-makers must consider in assessing whether an application for a grant of citizenship for adopted persons meets the requirements of the Citizenship Act. Currently, the Regulations do not apply to this new group.

Citizenship grants in the case of international adoptions

The SCCA imposes a new requirement for adopted persons applying for a grant of citizenship: the adoption must not have occurred in a manner that circumvented the legal requirements for international adoptions. Among other things, this measure is aimed at deterring illegal practices, such as child trafficking. However, the Regulations do not provide factors to assist decision-makers in assessing whether or not adoptions conform to this new legislative requirement.

3. Accompanying persons at hearings with citizenship judges

Currently, the Regulations provide that citizenship judges have the discretion to decide who can accompany an applicant at a hearing before them. However, some concerns have been raised regarding persons acting as interpreters or accompanying citizenship applicants at their hearing. These concerns include the following:

  • the age of the individual acting as an interpreter;
  • the lack of ability in English or French of the individual acting as interpreter; and
  • the integrity of the program in cases where persons with citizenship applications in progress who accompany an applicant or act as an interpreter and, therefore, gain an unfair advantage over other applicants by being privy to information about the application process that other applicants would not have access to.

In addition to the new authorities that were introduced with the SCCA and that require accompanying regulatory amendments, the Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) conducted a review of the Regulations in 2012 and proposed a number of technical amendments which are also included as part of this proposal.

Background

Comprehensive reform of the Citizenship Act was undertaken because the Act was more than 35 years old and required updating to deal with today’s challenges. More specifically, the lengthy processing times meant qualified applicants waited too long for citizenship. In addition, citizenship requirements did not reflect the true value of Canadian citizenship, and the citizenship program was vulnerable to fraud. Overall, the Citizenship Act did not adequately protect and promote Canada’s interests and values.

Upon royal assent, a number of provisions in the SCCA came into force, including fast tracking citizenship applications for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, improving clarity on the first-generation limit on citizenship for those born abroad, enabling children born abroad to serving Crown servants to pass on citizenship to their children born or adopted abroad, and streamlined decision making for issuing discretionary grants under subsection 5(4).

On August 1, 2014, additional provisions came into force, including the new decision-making process for citizenship applications, various measures to improve the efficiency of the application process, and a new judicial review and appeals process.

Provisions that have yet to come into force include provisions to give citizenship to more “lost Canadians,” new residence requirements, the new intent to reside in Canada requirement, expanded age requirements for language and knowledge testing, a requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada in an official language, strengthened offences and penalties for fraud, prohibitions for foreign criminality and activities against national interests, a new revocation decision-making process and new grounds for revocation of citizenship, and a new authority to designate a regulatory body for citizenship representatives.

Citizenship renunciation for “lost Canadians”

The SCCA builds on amendments to the Citizenship Act that were made in 2009 to restore or extend Canadian citizenship to individuals commonly known as “lost Canadians” — these are individuals who did not become Canadian citizens in 1947 when the first Canadian Citizenship Act came into force, or who later lost citizenship through automatic operation of the law. While the 2009 amendments restored or granted citizenship to most “lost Canadians”, the SCCA extends citizenship to additional “lost Canadians,” who were born before 1947 and who did not become Canadian citizens on January 1, 1947, when the Canadian Citizenship Act came into force. It also extends Canadian citizenship to their children born outside of Canada in the first generation.

When the Citizenship Act was amended in 2009, the Regulations were also amended to allow certain persons who became Canadian citizens automatically to renounce (give up) their citizenship through a simplified renunciation process.

Citizenship grants for persons adopted before 1947

In 2007, a provision allowing for a grant of Canadian citizenship for persons born abroad and adopted by a Canadian citizen after February 14, 1977, was introduced in the Citizenship Act. This created a direct pathway to Canadian citizenship for adopted persons such that they did not need to first become permanent residents before being granted Canadian citizenship. In 2009, this grant of Canadian citizenship was extended to persons adopted by a Canadian parent on or after January 1, 1947.

In line with the provision extending citizenship to more “lost Canadians,” the SCCA extends access to the adoption grant provisions of the Citizenship Act to those adopted before January 1, 1947 (or April 1, 1949, in the case of Newfoundland and Labrador), by a person who became a Canadian citizen on either of those dates.

Citizenship grants in the case of international adoptions

Section 5.1 of the Citizenship Act outlines requirements that must be met in order for an adopted person to obtain a grant of Canadian citizenship. These requirements are generally consistent with the safeguards established in the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN Convention), to which Canada is a party. For those countries that are party to it, the Hague Convention establishes legal and procedural safeguards for international adoption. The Regulations in turn provide for factors that need to be considered in the assessment of the requirements of section 5.1 of the Citizenship Act.

The SCCA introduces a new requirement in the adoption provisions of the Citizenship Act that an adoption did not occur in a manner that circumvented the legal requirements for international adoption. This is aimed at deterring illegal practices and at strengthening the integrity of the citizenship determination process as well as Canada’s ability to meet its international responsibilities under the Hague Convention and the UN Convention.

Accompanying persons and persons acting as interpreters

Currently, citizenship judges have the discretion to allow an applicant appearing before them to be accompanied by a person if it is in the interest of the applicant and the expeditious determination of the matter. In some cases, the person acts as an interpreter at the hearing. Guidelines pertaining to the use of interpreters specify that interpreters can be used in hearings with citizenship judges to assess requirements for a grant of citizenship, except for the language requirement. However, there are no specific guidelines about the criteria that must be met by an individual accompanying an applicant and/or providing interpretation at a citizenship hearing.

Objectives

1. Information sharing
Information sharing related to use of the SIN

The objective of the proposed Regulations is to authorize CIC to collect the SIN and to verify information with the CRA for specific purposes, thereby strengthening program integrity and improving client service by enabling CIC to more quickly process straightforward citizenship applications and focus on more complex cases.

Further, in reviewing the tax filing history of citizenship applicants, CIC may encounter inconsistent or contradictory information that may raise tax compliance concerns; however, CIC does not currently have the express authority to proactively advise the CRA of these types of concerns to improve the integrity of its programs. The proposed Regulations would address this issue.

Information sharing related to citizenship representatives

The objective of the proposed Regulations is to ensure that citizenship representatives and the designated body are providing professional and ethical representation, which would help protect citizenship applicants from fraud and strengthen the integrity of the program.

Information sharing with CIC partners and other government organizations

The objective of the proposed Regulations is to clarify and strengthen the legal framework within which information sharing occurs within CIC and between CIC and the CBSA and ESDC, as well as with various federal, provincial and territorial organizations responsible for delivering programs and services, in addition to enforcement partners. This would help uphold the integrity of the immigration system as a whole and improve client service, both in the citizenship program and across the Government.

2. “Lost Canadians” and grants of citizenship for adopted persons
Citizenship renunciation for “lost Canadians”

The objective of the proposed amendments is to allow individuals who automatically acquire Canadian citizenship under the SCCA to easily renounce it. This is a necessary safety valve for those who may need to renounce citizenship quickly where automatic acquisition of Canadian citizenship may be problematic due to the laws of other countries.

Citizenship grants for persons adopted before 1947

The objective of the proposed amendments is to extend the requirements of the Regulations to those who benefit from the adoption grant of citizenship under the SCCA, thus bringing the Regulations in line with the legislative amendments.

Citizenship grants in the case of international adoptions

The objective of the proposed amendments is to ensure that the Regulations clearly reflect factors to help decision-makers assess whether the new SCCA requirement for adopted persons applying for a grant of citizenship is met. This would increase transparency and strengthen the safeguards for adopted children and the integrity of the citizenship program.

3. Accompanying persons and persons acting as interpreters

The objective of the proposed amendments is to provide citizenship judges with clear criteria for the use of accompanying persons and those acting as interpreters. This would provide greater transparency to all citizenship applicants and help ensure procedural fairness, while also strengthening the integrity of the citizenship process.

4. Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations

The objective of the proposed amendments is to comply with the recommendations of the SJCSR by addressing technical errors and inconsistencies identified by the SJCSR. The recommendations include

  • Ensuring consistency between English and French; and
  • Amending language where more appropriate and/or more precise language was deemed necessary.

Description

1. Information sharing
Information sharing related to use of SIN

The proposed Regulations would provide CIC with the authority to collect the SINs of citizenship applicants as part of their application for citizenship, and, with the consent of the applicant, authorize CIC to directly verify the tax filing history and residency information of citizenship applicants through the CRA’s secure Income Verification Program. This would be similar to arrangements the CRA already has in place with other federal, provincial and territorial organizations.

The proposed Regulations would also give CIC the authority to share with the CRA case information on applicants’ tax filings. The proposed Regulations would limit information sharing with the CRA to relevant information, including the SIN, in cases where CIC has identified possible false representation, fraud, concealment of material circumstances, or discrepancies between the information obtained from the applicant and the information provided by the CRA. The disclosure of information would also be limited to the information that the CRA is authorized to collect.

Information sharing related to citizenship representatives

The proposed Regulations would require the body designated to govern citizenship representatives to provide an annual package of documents for use in assessing its effectiveness and viability no later than 90 days following the body’s fiscal year end. They would also give the Minister the authority to require information from the governing body within 10 business days after receipt by the designated body of a ministerial notice if it appears that the ability of the designated body to govern its members in a manner that is in the public interest has been compromised. The types of information that would be required could include annual reports and financial statements, information about the board of directors and executive committees, the by-laws and rules that govern the conduct of its members and membership, and other prescribed information that would permit the Minister to evaluate whether or not the designated body governs its members in the public interest.

Furthermore, the proposed Regulations would permit CIC to disclose information to a body or individual that would be responsible for governing or investigating conduct to ensure that authorized paid representatives are offering professional and ethical representation and advice to persons in connection with proceedings. Thus, information could be disclosed whenever the conduct of one of its members is likely to constitute a breach of that person’s professional or ethical obligations. Examples of such conduct include making false promises to an applicant or providing false information to clients about Canada’s citizenship processes. The privacy interests of the applicant and the representative will be balanced with the need to protect program integrity by establishing clear authority and parameters for the disclosure of personal information.

Information sharing with CIC partners and other government organizations

Information sharing between CIC lines of business and with key partners responsible for CIC programs: The proposed Regulations would authorize CIC to disclose citizenship information within the Department and with key partners (i.e. the CBSA and ESDC) that are also responsible for administering, investigating and enforcing the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the laws respecting passports and other travel documents. This would authorize the sharing of information on citizenship program clients for the purposes of program integrity, program administration, investigations, enforcement, and ameliorating client service.

Validation of citizenship status by other government organizations: The proposed Regulations would expressly authorize CIC to disclose citizenship status information to provinces, territories, and federal departments to determine eligibility for a program or an entitlement that falls under their mandate. Information would only be shared for the purposes set out above, and only once an agreement or an arrangement has been established between CIC and the identified partner.

Disclosure of information related to change in citizenship status and for administration and enforcement purposes: The proposed Regulations would expressly authorize CIC to proactively notify partners of a change of citizenship status information. Current and former clients would be identified through a set of data elements.  Only information required to identify an individual would be shared with departments and agencies that have an agreement or arrangement with CIC to validate the status of clients. The proposed Regulations would also expressly authorize CIC to disclose additional case information pertaining to instances of fraud that have led to a change in citizenship status, to allow partners to reassess an individual’s eligibility for benefits or entitlements. Information would only be shared for the purposes set out above, and only once an agreement or an arrangement has been established between CIC and the identified partner.

These proposed Regulations would expressly authorize CIC to verify the citizenship status and/or the identity of current or former citizenship clients of the Department on behalf of enforcement partners for their investigation purposes. In addition, they would include provisions expressly authorizing CIC to collect information from enforcement partners to resolve an administrative investigation, especially in cases where the collection by or disclosure to CIC for such purposes requires an express legislative authority.

2. “Lost Canadians” and grants of citizenship for adopted persons
Citizenship renunciation for “lost Canadians”

The proposed amendments would extend access to the simplified renunciation process and requirements (found in section 7.1 of the Regulations) to persons who will automatically acquire Canadian citizenship under the SCCA and who do not wish to be Canadian citizens. This process would be available only to persons who are Canadian citizens described in paragraphs 3(1)(k) to 3(1)(r) of the Citizenship Act or who are citizens under paragraph 3(1)(b) as a result of having a parent who is a citizen found under paragraphs 3(1)(k) to (n). These paragraphs include the following persons:

  • those who were born or naturalized in Canada before 1947, who subsequently lost their British subject status, and who did not become citizens on January 1, 1947;
  • British subjects ordinarily resident in Canada prior to 1947 who did not become citizens on January 1, 1947; and
  • children born outside Canada in the first generation to any parent who was born, naturalized or a British subject ordinarily resident in Canada prior to 1947.
Citizenship grants for persons adopted before 1947

The proposed amendments would modify sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the Regulations to clarify that the factors for consideration provided in these sections also apply to persons adopted before January 1, 1947 (or April 1, 1949, in the case of Newfoundland and Labrador).

The proposed amendments would add a provision to indicate that, for greater certainty and clarity, references to the term “Canada” in sections 5.2 and 5.3 apply to the whole of Canada and are not restricted to the provincial and territorial composition of Canada as it existed before January 1, 1947. The proposed amendments would also indicate that, for greater certainty and clarity, references to “provincial” throughout sections 5.2 and 5.3 also include Newfoundland and Labrador.

Citizenship grants in the case of international adoptions

The proposed amendments would clarify the factors to be considered by decision-makers in assessing whether or not an adoption respected to the legal requirements for a grant of citizenship in the case of international adoptions. Specifically, subsections 5.1(3), 5.2(3) and 5.3(3) of the Regulations would be amended to better describe the circumstances in which the Minister shall determine whether the requirements of the Citizenship Act have been met and provide a revised, non-exhaustive set of factors to be considered within each set of circumstance. For example, in the case of an international adoption that has occurred in Canada and is subject to the Hague Convention, one of the factors for consideration by an officer will be whether the competent provincial or territorial authority responsible for international adoptions has provided a written statement as to whether or not the adoption conforms to the Hague Convention. In the case of an international adoption that has occurred in Canada or abroad and is not subject to the Hague Convention, the Regulations will set out as two of the factors for consideration whether the child was eligible for adoption in accordance with the laws of the child’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption and whether there is evidence of child trafficking.

3. Accompanying persons and persons acting as interpreters

The proposed amendments would amend section 12 of the Regulations to add criteria to limit who can accompany an applicant at a hearing before a citizenship judge and/or act as an interpreter, while ensuring flexibility in exceptional cases. The following amendments are proposed:

  • Prevent an accompanying person and/or a person acting as an interpreter from attending a hearing if that person also has a citizenship application in progress (starting from the time the person has sent his or her application to CIC until the citizenship oath is taken);
  • Specify that, if the accompanying person will be acting as an interpreter, he or she must be at least 18 years old and have sufficient knowledge of either English or French to be able to communicate with the judge and understand the judge’s questions; and
  • Provide judges with the authority to waive the abovementioned criteria in limited circumstances, except the criterion to have adequate knowledge of English or French, where these criterion would impose undue hardship on the applicant.
4. Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations

The proposed amendments would

  • Revise the French wording equivalent to “child trafficking” to “traite d’enfants” in subparagraphs 5.1(3)(c)(iv) and 5.2(3)(c)(iv) to align with the English wording and the Hague Convention on Adoption;
  • Revise the French wording in paragraph 7.1(2)(b) and subsection 7.1(4) from “renonciation” to the correct term “répudiation”; and
  • Adjust the English wording to match the French with regard to where the certificate of citizenship should be forwarded if the oath is to be taken outside of Canada in paragraph 20(2)(b).

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to these regulatory proposals, as there are no changes in administrative costs to businesses.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to these regulatory proposals, as they impose no costs on small businesses.

Consultation

The SCCA received widespread media coverage during the legislative process in Parliament; generally, this coverage was neutral to positive. The overall response to the SCCA from Canadians, both those who were born here and those who immigrated to Canada, has been largely supportive, particularly with respect to provisions to improve the efficiency of the citizenship process and those relating to “lost Canadians.”

It is expected that proposed amendment to increase the ability of the Government to provide enhanced oversight and monitoring of citizenship representatives, which may lead to better detection and enforcement of discipline and penalties, will be well received, given the positive reaction to this aspect of the SCCA. It is possible that there may be some public concern regarding the government disclosure of citizenship consultant information to a governing body. However, there was no opposition from the public when similar amendments to sections 13.1 and 13.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations were made in 2012.

In consultations relating to the SCCA, the provincial and territorial central authorities responsible for international adoptions have expressed support for adding a requirement to the Citizenship Act to ensure that international adoptions conformed to the legal requirements. This would strengthen the integrity of the international adoption process as a whole and would help prevent persons from benefitting from illegal practices by acquiring Canadian citizenship in cases where the rules for international adoptions have not been followed. In preliminary consultations regarding the development of these regulatory amendments, provinces and territories indicated broad support for the overall approach being proposed.

With regard to changes related to accompanying persons and/or persons acting as interpreters, the Citizenship Commission was consulted at different stages of the process to identify and discuss the issues that judges have encountered during citizenship hearings, as well as to determine the criteria that should be defined in the Regulations to solve these issues. The Citizenship Commission supports these amendments.

Consultations were not conducted with respect to the changes recommended by the SJCSR, as these amendments are purely technical and are not anticipated to impact stakeholder interests.

Rationale

These amendments would support the coming into force and implementation of the remaining provisions of the SCCA.

Amendments related to information sharing will assist CIC in determining whether citizenship applicants meet certain requirements, as well as improve client service and strengthen program integrity both within CIC and across the Government. They will also help ensure transparency by indicating the purposes for which information collected under the citizenship program could potentially be used.

Amendments related to “lost Canadians” will ensure that the Regulations are aligned with the changes introduced in the SCCA, in particular by extending the adoption grant of citizenship, as well as extending the simplified renunciation process to allow access to the additional “lost Canadians” who automatically acquired citizenship under the SCCA. The amendments related to grants of citizenship for adopted persons will also assist decision-makers in better assessing whether or not an adoption conformed to the legal requirements for international adoptions.

Amendments related to accompanying persons and interpreters will provide judges with clear criteria in order to assist them in exercising their discretion in this area, and will also provide for greater transparency to all citizenship applicants, while strengthening the integrity of the citizenship process.

Finally, the minor inconsistencies and errors identified by the SJCSR are corrected by the technical amendments.

While there will be some transitional costs to Government, the costs for these regulatory proposals are considered low. The proposed Regulations are expected to cost just over half a million dollars to implement over the course of the next 10 years and costs are related to implementation activities, including updating manuals, application kits, guidelines, Web pages and information technology (IT) systems, and training officers. These costs will be absorbed into existing operations.

The benefits stemming from these regulatory changes include improved client service as a result of greater use of electronic verification of information between organizations and clearer authorities to share information within CIC and with other departments responsible for administering programs under the IRPA and delivering passport services.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Necessary implementation measures, including the training of staff, would be funded out of existing resources. Implementation would require updates to program delivery instructions and manuals, application kits, guidelines, IT systems and Web pages. Information-sharing agreements will be developed as required to implement the proposed Regulations pertaining to information sharing in advance of the Regulations becoming fully operational. These agreements will set out the nature of the information that will be shared and the safeguards that will be put in place, as well as the means by which information will be protected and used.

Contact

Himmat Shinhat
Director
Legislation and Program Policy Division
Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
180 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Fax: 613-991-2485
Email: citizenship-citoyennete@cic.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 21.1(6) (see footnote a) and paragraphs 27(1)(d.1) (see footnote b), (d.2) (see footnote c), (f), (j.1) (see footnote d) and (k.1) to (k.5) (see footnote e) of the Citizenship Act (see footnote f), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Citizenship Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Himmat Shinhat, Director, Legislation and Program Policy Directorate, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 180 Kent Street, 6th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1 (fax: 613-991-2485; email: citizenship-citoyennete@cic.gc.ca).

Ottawa, February 19, 2015

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CITIZENSHIP REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) The portion of subsection 5.1(1) of the English version of the Citizenship Regulations (see footnote 1) before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

5.1 (1) An application made under subsection 5.1(1) of the Act in respect of a person who is a minor child on the date of the application shall be

(2) Subsection 5.1(3) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(3) The following factors are to be considered in determining whether the requirements of subsection 5.1(1) of the Act have been met in respect of the adoption of a minor child referred to in subsection (1):

  • (a) if the adoption occurred in Canada, and, at the time of the adoption, the minor child was habitually resident outside Canada in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption,
    • (i) whether the provincial authority responsible for international adoption has stated in writing that in its opinion the adoption was in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption and that it does not object to the adoption, and
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption;
  • (b) if the adoption occurred in Canada, and, at the time of the adoption, the minor child was habitually resident outside Canada in a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption,
    • (i) whether the provincial authority responsible for international adoption has stated in writing that it does not object to the adoption,
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption,
    • (iii) whether there is no evidence that the adoption was for the purpose of child trafficking or undue gain, and
    • (iv) whether the child was eligible for adoption in accordance with the laws of the child’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption;
  • (c) if the adoption occurred abroad, and, at the time of the adoption, the minor child was habitually resident in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption and whose intended destination at the time of the adoption is another country that is also a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption,
    • (i) whether the competent authorities responsible for international adoption in the child’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption and the country of the intended destination have stated in writing that in their opinion the adoption was in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption and that they do not object to the adoption, and
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption; and
  • (d) in all other cases,
    • (i) whether a competent authority of the country of intended destination conducted or approved a home study of the parent or parents, as the case may be, and has stated that it does not object to the adoption,
    • (ii) whether before the adoption, the minor child’s parent or parents, as the case may be, gave their free and informed consent in writing to the adoption,
    • (iii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption,
    • (iv) whether there is no evidence that the adoption was for the purpose of child trafficking or undue gain, and
    • (v) whether the minor child was eligible for adoption in accordance with the laws of the child’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption.

2. (1) Paragraphs 5.2(3)(a) to (c) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (a) if the adoption occurred in Canada, and, at the time of the adoption, the person was habitually resident outside Canada in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption,
    • (i) whether the provincial authority responsible for international adoption has stated in writing that in its opinion the adoption was in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption and that it does not object to the adoption, and
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption;
  • (b) when the adoption occurred in Canada, and, at the time of the adoption, the person was habitually resident outside Canada in a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption,
    • (i) whether the provincial authority responsible for international adoption has stated in writing that it does not object to the adoption,
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption,
    • (iii) whether there is no evidence that the adoption was for the purpose of child trafficking or undue gain, and
    • (iv) whether the person was eligible for adoption in accordance with the laws of the person’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption;
  • (c) if the adoption occurred abroad, and, at the time of the adoption, the person was habitually resident in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption and whose intended destination at the time of the adoption is another country that is also a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption,
    • (i) whether the competent authorities responsible for international adoption in the person’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption and the country of the intended destination have stated, in writing, that in their opinion the adoption was in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption and that they do not object to the adoption, and
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption; and
  • (d) in all other cases,
    • (i) whether a competent authority of the country of intended destination conducted or approved a home study of the parent or parents, as the case may be, and has stated that it does not object to the adoption,
    • (ii) whether before the adoption, the person’s parent or parents, as the case may be, gave their free and informed consent, in writing, to the adoption,
    • (iii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption,
    • (iv) whether there is no evidence that the adoption was for the purpose of child trafficking or undue gain, and
    • (v) whether the person was eligible for adoption in accordance with the laws of the person’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption.

(2) Section 5.2 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (3):

(4) For greater certainty, the reference to “Canada” in sections 5.2 and 5.3 is a reference to Canada further to the union of Newfoundland and Labrador with Canada.

(5) For greater certainty, the reference to “provincial” in sections 5.2 and 5.3 also includes Newfoundland and Labrador.

3. Paragraphs 5.3(3)(a) and (b) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (a) if the adoption occurred in Canada,
    • (i) whether the provincial authority responsible for international adoption has stated, in writing, that it does not object to the adoption, and
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption; and
  • (b) in all other cases,
    • (i) whether the competent authorities of the person’s country of habitual residence at the time of the adoption and the country of their intended destination have stated, in writing, that they do not object to the adoption, and
    • (ii) whether the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship was permanently severed by the adoption.

4. (1) The portion of subsection 7.1(1) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

7.1 (1) An application to renounce the citizenship conferred by the Act on a person referred to in paragraph 3(1)(f) or (g) of the Act or on a person referred to in any of paragraphs 3(1)(k) to (r) of the Act who did not, before the coming into force of subparagraph 27(1)(j.1)(ii) of the Act, become a citizen by way of grant as defined in subsection 3(9) of the Act, shall be

(2) Subparagraph 7.1(1)(b)(ii) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (ii) evidence that establishes that the person is a person referred to in paragraph 3(1)(f) or (g) of the Act or a person referred to in any of paragraphs 3(1)(k) to (r) of the Act who did not, before the coming into force of subparagraph 27(1)(j.1)(ii) of the Act, become a citizen by way of grant as defined in subsection 3(9) of the Act,

(3) Section 7.1 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

(1.1) An application to renounce the citizenship conferred by the Act on a person referred to in paragraph 3(1)(b) of the Act for the sole reason that one or both parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs 3(1)(k) to (n) of the Act and who did not, before the coming into force of subparagraph 27(1)(j.1)(iii) of the Act, become a citizen by way of grant as defined in subsection 3(9) of the Act shall be

  • (a) made to the Minister in the prescribed form; and
  • (b) filed with the Registrar together with the following materials:
    • (i) a birth certificate or other evidence that establishes the person’s date and place of birth,
    • (ii) evidence that establishes that the person is a person referred to in paragraph 3(1)(b) of the Act for the sole reason that one or both parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs 3(1)(k) to (n) of the Act and who did not, before the coming into force of subparagraph 27(1)(j.1)(iii) of the Act, become a citizen by way of grant as defined in subsection 3(9) of the Act,
    • (iii) a photograph of the person of the size and type shown on a form prescribed under section 28 of the Act, and
    • (iv) an official document of a country other than Canada, or other evidence, that establishes that the person is or will become a citizen of that country if the application is approved.

(4) The portion of subsection 7.1(2) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

(2) The Minister shall approve an application made under subsection (1) or (1.1) if the person

(5) Paragraph 7.1(2)(b) of the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • b) n’est pas incapable de saisir la portée de la demande de répudiation à la citoyenneté en raison d’une déficience mentale.

(6) Subsection 7.1(4) of the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(4) Si une demande de répudiation est approuvée, le ministre délivre à la personne un document attestant cette répudiation.

5. Section 12 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

12. (1) When an applicant appears before a citizenship judge, the judge may require the applicant to give evidence under oath.

(2) A citizenship judge may permit an applicant to be accompanied by

  • (a) a person who does not have a citizenship application in progress;
  • (b) a person acting as an interpreter who is at least 18 years old and who does not have a citizenship application in progress; and
  • (c) any other person, if their exclusion would cause the applicant undue hardship.

(3) A person referred to in paragraph (2)(b) or a person referred to in paragraph (2)(c) who also acts as an interpreter must have sufficient knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages in order to be able to understand the judge’s instructions and questions and to communicate with the judge.

6. (1) Paragraph 20(2)(a) of the English version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) if the oath is to be taken in Canada, a citizenship officer of the citizenship office that the Registrar considers appropriate in the circumstances; or

(2) Paragraph 20(2)(b) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) if the oath is to be taken in another country, a foreign service officer in that country.

7. Subsection 26(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) If the Registrar becomes aware that the holder of a certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship, miniature certificate of citizenship or other certificate of citizenship that contains the holder’s photograph, or certificate of renunciation, contravened any provision of the Act, the Registrar shall cause to be retained any certificate surrendered to the Registrar by that person until that certificate is no longer required as evidence in any legal proceedings that may be instituted in consequence of the alleged contravention.

8. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 26:

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION

26.1 If the Minister determines that the conduct of a person referred to in any of paragraphs 21.1(2)(a) to (c) of the Act in connection with a proceeding — other than a proceeding before a superior court — or application under the Act is likely to constitute a breach of the person’s professional or ethical obligations, the Minister may disclose the following information about that person to a body that is responsible for governing or investigating that conduct or to a person who is responsible for investigating that conduct:

  • (a) their name, postal address, telephone number, fax number and email address;
  • (b) the name of the professional body of which they are a member and their membership identification number;
  • (c) any information relating to that conduct, but — in the case of any information that could identify any other person — only to the extent necessary for the complete disclosure of that conduct.

26.2 (1) A body that is designated under subsection 21.1(5) of the Act must provide to the Minister, within 90 days after the end of each of its fiscal years, the following information and documents:

  • (a) its most recent annual report;
  • (b) its most recent financial statement and the auditor’s report on that financial statement;
  • (c) its instrument of incorporation, with an indication of any changes that have been made to that document since the last time it provided that document to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (d) its by-laws, with an indication of any changes that have been made to those by-laws since the last time it provided them to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (e) the minutes of each of the general meetings of its members that has been held during its last completed fiscal year;
  • (f) the terms of reference of its board of directors, if any, with an indication of any changes that have been made to those terms of reference since the last time they were provided to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (g) the conflict of interest code for its directors, if any, with an indication of any changes that have been made to that code since the last time it provided the code to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (h) the name, professional qualifications and term of office of each of its directors, with any change in the board of director’s composition that has occurred since the last time it provided the names of its directors to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (i) the minutes of each meeting of its board of directors that has been held during its last completed fiscal year;
  • (j) the name, terms of reference and composition of each of its executive committees, if any, as well as the name and professional qualifications of each of their members;
  • (k) the minutes of each meeting of its executive committees, if any, that has been held during its last completed fiscal year;
  • (l) any sums disbursed to its directors and officers as remuneration and any cash benefits or financial advantages granted to them, during its last completed fiscal year;
  • (m) the name and membership number of each of its members;
  • (n) the rules that govern the conduct of its members, with an indication of any changes that have been made to those rules since the last time they were provided to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (o) information, made anonymous, concerning the number and type of any complaints that it received during its last completed fiscal year in relation to the conduct of any of its members, including the distribution of those complaints by type, country of origin and, in the case of Canada, province of origin, the measures that it took to deal with those complaints and any decision that it rendered and sanction that it imposed as a consequence of those complaints;
  • (p) information in aggregate form, made anonymous, concerning any investigation by it, during its last completed fiscal year, into the conduct of any of its members if that conduct likely constitutes a breach of their professional or ethical obligations;
  • (q) the amount of any fees charged by it to its members, including its membership fees, with any change in those fees that has occurred since the last time that information was provided to the Minister in accordance with this section;
  • (r) the nature and amount of its entertainment, hospitality, meal, transport, accommodation, training and incidental expenses, if any, that were incurred by any person with respect to the body during its last completed fiscal year, as well as the name of the person;
  • (s) any training requirements that it imposes on its members; and
  • (t) information concerning any training made available by it to its members during its last completed fiscal year, including
    • (i) the professional qualifications required of trainers,
    • (ii) the identification of the mandatory courses from among those on offer,
    • (iii) any evaluation methods and applicable completion standards, and
    • (iv) the name and professional qualifications of each trainer.

(2) If the ability of the designated body to govern its members in a manner that is in the public interest so that they provide professional and ethical representation and advice appears to be compromised, the body must provide to the Minister — within 10 business days after the day on which the body receives from the Minister a notice indicating the existence of such a situation and setting out any information or documents from among those referred to in paragraphs (1)(c) to (t) that are necessary to assist the Minister to evaluate whether the body governs its members in a manner that is in the public interest so that they provide professional and ethical representation and advice — the information or documents set out in the notice.

(3) The information and documents referred to in subsections (1) and (2) may be provided in redacted form to exclude from them information that is subject to litigation privilege or solicitor-client privilege or, in civil law, to immunity from disclosure or professional secrecy of advocates and notaries.

(4) Any information or document referred to in subsection (1) or (2) may be provided to the Minister by electronic means.

26.3 The Minister may disclose information with respect to the citizenship status of a person to any department or agency of the Government of Canada or of a province with which the Minister has entered into an arrangement or agreement for the disclosure of this information for the purpose of determining the person’s eligibility for a benefit or program.

26.4 (1) The Minister may disclose information with respect to the loss of citizenship of a person or the cancellation of any certificate set out in subsection 26(3) to any department or agency of the Government of Canada or of a province with which the Minister has entered into an arrangement or agreement for the disclosure of this information.

(2) If the loss of the person’s citizenship occurred as a result of false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances, the Minister may disclose to departments and agencies of the Government of Canada or of a province any relevant information related to the false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances, as the case may be.

26.5 (1) The Minister may disclose within his or her own Department any information obtained through the management of the citizenship program for the purpose of the administration and enforcement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the laws respecting passports and other travel documents.

(2) The Minister may disclose to the Department of Employment and Social Development and to the Canada Border Services Agency any information obtained through the management of the citizenship program for the purpose of the administration and enforcement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the laws respecting passports and other travel documents if the Minister has entered into an arrangement for the disclosure of this information.

26.6 (1) The Minister may require an applicant to provide their social insurance number, if any, in any application made pursuant to subsections 5(1) or 11(1) of the Act.

(2) The Minister may disclose the following information to the Canada Revenue Agency if the Minister has entered into an arrangement for the disclosure of this information:

  • (a) the social insurance number of an applicant for the purposes of verifying whether the applicant has complied with the requirements set out in paragraphs 5(1)(c), 5(1.2)(b), 11(1)(d) and 11(1.1)(b) of the Act; and
  • (b) any relevant information related to any discrepancies between the information obtained from the applicant and that provided by the Agency if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the discrepancy is a result of false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances made in the course of an application, as well as any personal information, including the social insurance number, of an applicant that the Agency is authorized to collect for the purpose of the administration of its programs and the enforcement of the legislation for which it is responsible.

26.7 (1) The Minister may disclose the identity or the status of a person to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to any provincial or municipal police force or to any other investigative bodies with which the Minister has entered into an arrangement or agreement for the disclosure of this information.

(2) The Minister may collect information with respect to a person for the purpose of the administration of his or her programs and the enforcement of the Act from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, any provincial or municipal police force or any other investigative bodies with which the Minister has entered into an arrangement or agreement for the collection of this information.

COMING INTO FORCE

9. These Regulations come into force on the day that subsection 4(3) of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, chapter 22 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014, comes into force, but if they are registered after that day, they come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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