Vol. 148, No. 17 — August 13, 2014
SOR/2014-186 July 31, 2014
Regulations Amending the Citizenship Regulations
P.C. 2014-898 July 31, 2014
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to section 27 (see footnote a) of the Citizenship Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Citizenship Regulations.
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CITIZENSHIP REGULATIONS
1. Sections 11 and 12 of the Citizenship Regulations (see footnote 1) are replaced by the following:
12. When an applicant appears before a citizenship judge, the judge may
- (a) require the applicant to give evidence under oath; and
- (b) permit the applicant to be accompanied by another person if it is in the interests of the applicant and of the expeditious determination of the matter.
2. Section 23 of the Regulations is repealed.
COMING INTO FORCE
3. These Regulations come into force on the day on which subsection 12(1) 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.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
On June 19, 2014, Bill C-24 Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, received Royal Assent. The legislation is the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act (the Act) since 1977. The amendments to the Citizenship Act include measures to increase the efficiency of the citizenship program; improve application processing and help qualified applicants acquire citizenship faster; reinforce the value of citizenship by strengthening requirements and deterring citizenship of convenience; and improve tools to maintain program integrity and combat fraud.
Specifically, the Act puts in place a new decision-making model that streamlines the citizenship grant application process by limiting duplication of review by citizenship officers and the citizenship judge, and having the Minister decide on most grants of citizenship. Judges will continue to preside over citizenship ceremonies, and continue with outreach activities to engage the public about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The legislation also strengthens the authority for officials to consider an application as abandoned if an applicant fails to comply with a request of information or to attend an interview.
It is estimated that the new model, combined with the funding Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) received through the Economic Action Plan 2013 and other efficiency measures contained in Bill C-24, will reduce the current processing times for decisions on citizenship by approximately 50% to less than a year by the end of 2015–16.
Issues and objectives
The objective of the amendments to the Citizenship Regulations (the Regulations) is to align the legislative and regulatory structures. Following the coming into force of amendments contained in Bill C-24 relating to the citizenship grant decision-making model and the authorities to consider an application as abandoned, the applicable sections of the Regulations on procedures for these authorities (sections 11, 12 and 23) are amended in order to remain consistent with the legislative authorities provided in the Act. The regulatory amendments are technical changes that support the implementation of the amendments contained in Bill C-24.
The regulatory amendments repeal section 11 of the Regulations. The procedures that are set out in section 11 relate to consideration of an application by citizenship judges, when hearings are to be held and notices to be sent, and the application abandonment procedures that are to be followed if an applicant fails to comply with a request for information or to attend an interview. These authorities are no longer needed in the Regulations as the authorities establishing these procedures are covered under sections 13, 13.2, 14 and 23.1 of the Act.
These sections of the Act relate to the conditions required for an application to be accepted for processing (the new complete application authorities) [section 13], the new authorities to consider an application as abandoned (section 13.2), the authority for the Minister to require an applicant to appear in person before the Minister or citizenship judge (section 23.1) and the new authority to only refer cases to citizenship judges for determination of the residency requirement where the officer cannot make a positive decision on that ground (section 14).
The regulatory amendments make a consequential technical amendment to section 12 of the Regulations to repeal the reference to subsection 11(7) and to reformulate the provision.
The regulatory amendment also repeals section 23 of the Regulations. Section 23 of the Regulations sets out the procedures to be followed when a person is unable to appear to take the oath of citizenship and the procedures to be followed to return a citizenship certificate where a person fails to appear before a judge to take the oath of citizenship. These authorities are inconsistent with section 13.2 of the Act, which provides that the Minister may treat an application as abandoned if the applicant fails, without reasonable excuse, to appear and take the oath and at the place specified in the invitation by the Minister.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to these regulatory amendments, as there are no changes in administrative costs on businesses.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to these regulatory amendments, as the regulatory amendments are technical in nature and impose no costs on small businesses.
These regulatory amendments are purely technical and are required in order to align the Citizenship Regulations with the amendments to the Citizenship Act relating to changes to the decision-making model and strengthening abandonment authorities, which will come into force on August 1, 2014.
Legislation and Program Policy Division
Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
180 Kent Street