Category Archives: Citizenship

Canada to Change Citizenship Requirements

On February 6, 2014 the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-24, The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. If passed, Bill C-24 will significantly change the requirements for Canadian citizenship.  Prospective citizenship applicants who may not meet the new requirements once Bill C-24 passes are encouraged to apply for Canadian citizenship as soon as possible.

The following is a summary of the main changes that the Government of Canada is introducing.

Residence and other Basic Requirements

Under Canada’s current system, a permanent resident can apply for Canadian citizenship if he/she has resided in Canada for three out of the four years preceding the citizenship application.  Because the definition of “residence” is not defined, it has been possible for permanent residents who have not been physically present in Canada for three out of four years to obtain citizenship if they could show substantial ties to Canada.

As well, each day that an applicant lawfully resides in Canada before becoming a permanent resident counts as a half-day towards the residency requirement.   This means that many people can apply for citizenship 2 years after obtaining permanent resident status.

Finally, Canada’s current citizenship requirements do not require permanent residents to have an “intention to reside in Canada” once they are granted citizenship.  Indeed, it is not uncommon for citizenship applicants to apply for citizenship and then leave Canada during the entirety of the processing of their application.

Under the proposed system, a permanent resident will be able to apply for Canadian citizenship if he/she has been physically present in Canada for four out of the six years preceding the citizenship application, rather than three out of four.  Applicants will also be required to have a minimum of 183 days of physical presence per year in four out of the six years preceding the application. Only the time that someone is physically present in Canada will count towards both residency requirements.

As well, time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident will no longer count towards the residency requirement.

Bill C-24 will also introduce the requirement that citizenship applicants demonstrate an “intention to reside in Canada” after they are granted citizenship.  Applicants must maintain this intention during the processing of their citizenship applications.

Finally, permanent residents must have filed Canadian income taxes as required under the Income Tax Act to be eligible for citizenship.

Fees

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is increasing the adult application from $100.00 to $300.00.  As well, there will be a $100.00 right of citizenship fee.

Citizenship and Language Test

Under the current system, adults aged 18-54 must meet language requirements and pass a knowledge test.  Applicants can use an interpreter for the knowledge test.

Under the proposed system, applicants aged 14-64 will be required to meet the language requirements and pass a knowledge test. As well, applicants may no longer use an interpreter for the knowledge test.

Bars to Citizenship 

Under Canada’s current system, people cannot be granted citizenship if:

  • they are under a probation order, a paroled inmate, or imprisoned in Canada;
  • during the three year period immediately preceding the date of a person’s citizenship application, or during the processing of a citizenship application, they are convicted of an indictable offence under any Canadian Act of Parliament; or
  • they are charged with an offence, on trial for, or are party to an appeal, relating to an indictable offence under any Act of Parliament in Canada.

Under the proposed system, people cannot be granted citizenship if:

  • they are under a probation order, a paroled inmate, or imprisoned in Canada, or, in most cases, if they are serving a sentence outside of Canada;
  • during the four year period immediately preceding the date of a person’s citizenship application, or during the processing of a citizenship application, they are convicted of any offence under a Canadian Act of Parliament, or for most offences outside of Canada;
  • they are charged with an offence, on trial for, or are party to an appeal relating to any any offence under an Act of Parliament or for most offences outside of Canada;
  • they have been convicted of certain terrorism and military offences, or were members of an armed force or organized armed group that was engaged in armed conflict with Canada.

Citizenship Fraud

Currently, the fines and penalties for citizenship fraud are a maximum of $1,000 and/or one year in prison.

Under the proposed system, the fines and penalties for citizenship fraud will be a maximum $100,000 and/or five years in prison.

Revocation

In most situations, the current process to revoke citizenship takes three steps.  First, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) indicates an intention to revoke citizenship.  If the citizen challenges CIC, then Canada’s Federal Court will determine whether the government’s allegation is correct.  If the Federal Court affirms the government’s allegation, then the Governor in Council will decide whether to revoke citizenship.

Under the proposed system, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada may now unilaterally decide on routine revocation cases involving fraud and misrepresentation. Complex revocation cases involving war crimes, crimes against humanity, security, international human rights violations, and organized criminality will be decided by Federal Court.

As well, Bill C-24 establishes the legal authority for the government to revoke the citizenship of dual citizens who have:

  • served as a member of an armed force or organized arm group that was engaged in an armed conflict with Canada;
  • been convicted of treason or spying offences and sentenced to imprisonment for life; or
  • been convicted of a terrorism offence and sentenced to five years or more imprisonment.

Armed Forces

The residency requirement will be reduced by one year for individuals on exchange who are serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Consultants

There is currently no requirement that citizenship consultants be licensed.  Under the proposed system, consultants will be required to be registered with and regulated by a designated organization.

Lost Canadians 

Bill C-24 will give Canadian citizenship to individuals who were born or naturalized in Canada, as well as to those who were British subjects residing in Canada, prior to January 1, 1947, but who were previously not eligible for Canadian citizenship.  Their citizenship will be retroactive.

The children of these “Lost Canadians” who were born abroad in the first generation will also be given retroactive citizenship.

More information about Bill C-24 can be found here.

Bill C-24 can be found in its entirety here.

Ontario Superior Court upholds Constitutionality of Citizenship Oath Requirement

On September 20, 2013, Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “ONSC“) released his decision in McAteer et al v. Attorney General of Canada, 2013 ONSC 5895 (“McAteer“).  McAteer involved a constitutional challenge to the citizenship oath requirement on the grounds that the requirement violates the constitutional protections of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and equality that are  found in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter“).  Ultimately, while the ONSC determined that the citizenship oath requirement does indeed violate s. 2(b) of the Charter‘s right to freedom of expression, the ONSC ultimately found that the breach was justified under the reasonable limits test under s. 1.  The ONSC also held that the citizenship oath requirement does not breach either s. 2(a) or 15 of the Charter, which protect freedom of religion and equality.

In reaching its decision, the ONSC interpreted the citizenship oath’s references to the queen in a very different way than I think most people do.  It is this interpretation that is going to be the subject of this blog post, as I think the McAteer decision can provide some meaning and significance to potential oath takers.  (For those interested in reading a summary of how Justice Morgan analysed the Charter challenges, including his application of the Oakes test, I suggest you read this wonderfuly concise 12 paragraph summary.)

The Citizenship Oath

Section 3(1)(c) of the Citizenship Act, RSC 195, c C-29 (the “Citizenship Act“), provides that:

Subject to this Act, a person is a citizen if the person has been granted or acquired citizenship pursuant to section 5 or 11 and, in the case of a person who is fourteen years of age or over on the day that he is granted citizenship, he has taken the oath of citizenship

Section 12(3) of the Citizenship Act goes on to provide that a citizenship certificate does not become effective until a permanent resident takes the oath.  In 2011, the Government of Canada also made it a requirement that citizenship judges be able to see the faces (specifically the lips) of people taking the oath.

The citizenship oath is:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors

In my experience, most people who are about to take the citizenship oath do so with great excitement at the prospect of finally becoming Canadian citizens.  However, they are unsure what to make of the oath’s references to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.  While the appellants in McAteer may have been uniquely outraged by the requirement to pledge loyalty to the queen, most find the requirement simply bemusing.  (One client even jokingly commented that he would bow to Kate Middleton any day.)

To paraphrase Justice Morgan, however, our “problem” might be that we are taking the oath literally.  As Justice Morgan noted, however, a purposive interpretation of the citizenship oath shows that the references to the queen are not literally to an elderly lady with a unique wave, but are  rather refer to loyalty to Canada’s constitutional monarchy / democracy.  As Justice Morgan noted:

Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (or Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario or the other provinces), as a governing institution, has long been distinguished from Elizabeth R. and her predecessors as individual people. Thus, for example, Canada has divided sovereignty, with both the federal and provincial Crowns represented by the Her Majesty.

Justice Morgan also noted that the Crown (as symbolized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth) sits at the sovereign apex of Canada’s legal and political system.  In our system of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign, like all institutions of state, exercises power within constitutional limitations.  However, there is no doubt that Her Majesty the Queen is Queen of Canada, the embodiment of the Crown in Canada, and the head of state.

Hence, on whether or not people are being forced to pledge loyalty to a foreign lady of privilege, Justice Morgan stated:

Not only is the Canadian sovereign not foreign, as alleged by the Applicants in identifying the Queen’s British origin, but the sovereign has come to represent the antithesis of status privilege.

Accordingly, when one is pledging loyalty to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, one is not literally pledging loyalty to the woman who appears on our currency.  Rather, to paraphrase Justice Morgan, oath takers are pledging loyalty to Canada’s domestic institutions that represent egalitarian governance and the rule of law.

A Summary on Freedom of Expression

In its Charter s. 2(b) analysis, the ONSC broadly summarized Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence on freedom of expression.  I found it to be a helpful summary of how “freedom of speech” in Canada works, and have reproduced it below (removing case citations).

As the Supreme Court of Canada pointed out in one of its earliest judgments under section 2(b) of the Charter, “[t]he content of expression can be conveyed through an infinite variety of forms of expression: for example, the written or spoken word, the arts, and even physical gestures or acts.” Certain behaviours such as a labour strike, acts of criminal violence, and the display of commercial wares have been specifically excluded from the ambit of the constitutional right; otherwise, “s. 2(b) of the Charter embraces all content of expression irrespective of the particular meaning or message sought to be conveyed.”

Accordingly, “if the activity conveys or attempts to convey a meaning, it has expressive content and prima facie falls within the scope of the guarantee”. Protected speech therefore includes not only the spoken word but the choice of language, and the right to receive or hear expressive content as much as the right to create it. Section 2(b) also guarantees the right to possess expressive material regardless of how repugnant it may be to others or to society at large.

Most significantly, “[f]reedom of expression encompasses the right not to express views.” As explained by Lamer J. (as he then was) in Slaight Communications Inc. v Davidson, “[t]here is no denying that freedom of expression necessarily entails the right to say nothing or the right not to say certain things. Silence is in itself a form of expression which in some circumstances can express something more clearly than words could do.” A statutory requirement whose effect is “to put a particular message into the mouth of the plaintiff” would run afoul of section 2(b) of the Charter

Indeed, the right not to express the government’s preferred point of view extends to those who oppose socially positive messages such as health warnings, and includes even the right to refrain from expressing objective, uncontested facts.  As Chief Justice Lamer explained in Committee for the Commonwealth of Canada v Canada, individuals are not only protected from having to articulate a message with which they disagree, but are also guaranteed the correlative right not to have to listen to such a message.

Revocation of Citizenship and Statelessness

I have received several questions about whether Jason Kenney is breaking international law by revoking peoples’ Canadian citizenship.  Specifically, many readers want to know whether international legal norms permit a country to render someone stateless.

For those who are not familiar with the term “statelessness,” it refers to individuals who are not a citizen of any country.

The question arises because presumably some of the people who are the subject of citizenship revocation proceedings are only citizens of Canada, and not of other nations.

The 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness is the treaty that governs statelessness in the case of non-refugees.  It articulates international legal principles governing the interaction between states and the conferral and revocation of citizenship to people residing within the state.  Canada ratified the treaty on July 17, 1978.

Article 8 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness provides that:

Article 8

 

1. A Contracting State shall not deprive a person of its nationality if such deprivation would render him stateless.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, a person may be deprived of the nationality of a Contracting State:
(a) [where a person resides abroad for a period of seven consecutive years and fails to declare an intention to retain nationality or if the person is born outside the state and does not reside within the state within 1 year of obtaining the age of majority];

(b) where the nationality has been obtained by misrepresentation or fraud.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, a Contracting State may retain the right to deprive a person of his nationality, if at the time of signature, ratification or accession it specifies its retention of such right on one or more of the following grounds, being grounds existing in its national law at that time:

(a) that, inconsistently with his duty of loyalty to the Contracting State, the person

(i) has, in disregard of an express prohibition by the Contracting State rendered or continued to render services to, or received or continued to receive emoluments from, another State, or

(ii) has conducted himself in a manner seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the State;

(b) that the person has taken an oath, or made a formal declaration, of allegiance to another State, or given definite evidence of his determination to repudiate his allegiance to the Contracting State.

The full text of the convention can be found here.

So in short, yes, international law permits a state to revoke the citizenship of a person, and render that person stateless, if the person obtained that citizenship through fraud or false representation.

Whether you agree with this principle of international law or not is another issue, but, Jason Kenney is acting legally by commencing revocation proceedings based on fraud that could lead to statelessness.

Understanding the Citizenship Revocation Process

Between 1977 and 2010 only 63 people had their citizenship revoked.  In July, 2011, Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (“Minister Kenney“), announced that as many as 1,800  Canadians could be stripped of their citizenship because they obtained their citizenship fraudulently. The 1,800 individuals were identified following a three-year investigation by the RCMP, other police forces and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

On September 9, 2012, Minister Kenney announced that the number of people who would likely have their citizenship revoked had risen to 3,100, with an additional 11,000 people under investigation.

The process of revoking these peoples’ citizenship has already begun, with several Canadians receiving letters stating the following:

The potential citizenship revocation of 11,000 Canadians generated considerable media and political attention, including this Twitter exchange between Jason Kenney and Jinny Sims, the New Democratic Party Immigration Critic.

There is a lot of confusion in social media regarding how the Government of Canada can strip people of their Canadian citizenship.  There is even more uncertainty regarding the process through which this is done.  In the remainder of this article, I hope to clarify the law on the issue.

Section 10 of the Citizenship Act

The authority of the Government of Canada to strip people of their citizenship is legally provided for by s. 10 of the Citizenship Act, which states that:

Order in cases of fraud

10. (1) Subject to section 18 but notwithstanding any other section of this Act, where the Governor in Council, on a report from the Minister, is satisfied that any person has obtained, retained, renounced or resumed citizenship under this Act by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances,

(a) the person ceases to be a citizen, or

(b) the renunciation of citizenship by the person shall be deemed to have had no effect,

as of such date as may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council with respect thereto.

[Emphasis Added]

Some individuals think that they can misrepresent their way to permanent residency, tell the truth when applying for citizenship, obtain citizenship, and then never have to worry about the consequences of the misrepresentations that led to them obtaining permanent residence.  Section 10(2) of the Citizenship Act makes it clear that this is not the case, and states that:

Presumption

(2) A person shall be deemed to have obtained citizenship by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances if the person was lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances and, because of that admission, the person subsequently obtained citizenship.

[Emphasis Added]

The burden of proof on the Government of Canada to establish fraud under s. 10 of the Citizenship Act is a “high degree of probability.”  In other words, it is higher than the “balance of probabilities” standard in civil cases, but lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal law.

The test for establishing fraud under s. 10 of the Citizenship Act is similar to that of misrepresentation for permanent residency.  The Government of Canada does not have to prove that had an individual been truthful during the application process then his citizenship application would have been rejected.  Rather, as the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed in Brooks, 1974 S.C.R. 850, the government only has to show that an individual gained entry to Canada or obtained Canadian citizenship by knowingly concealing material circumstances which had the affect of foreclosing further inquiry.

A misrepresentation of a material fact amounting to fraud under the Citizenship Act includes stating an untruth, withholding of material information, or providing a misleading answer.  In assessing the materiality of the information concealed, regard is held to the significance of the undisclosed information.  Unlike with misrepresentations in acquiring permanent residency, fraud will not result where there is merely a technical transgression of Canada’s immigration laws.  Furthermore, innocent misrepresentations will not result in the revocation of citizenship (unlike in permanent residency, a hotly contested area).  Willful blindness, however, can result in fraud under the Citizenship Act (Phan, 2003 FC 1194).

The Role of Federal Court

As noted in the letter that the Government of Canada is sending people suspected of fraud, also known as a “Section 18 Letter”, individuals whose citizenship the Government of Canada intends to revoke have the ability to have their case reviewed by the Federal Court.

Section 18 of the Citizenship Act provides that certain procedures must be followed before the Government of Canada revokes a person’s citizenship.  It states:

Notice to person in respect of revocation

18. (1) The Minister shall not make a report under section 10 unless the Minister has given notice of his intention to do so to the person in respect of whom the report is to be made and

(a) that person does not, within thirty days after the day on which the notice is sent, request that the Minister refer the case to the Court; or

(b) that person does so request and the Court decides that the person has obtained, retained, renounced or resumed citizenship by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.

Nature of notice

(2) The notice referred to in subsection (1) shall state that the person in respect of whom the report is to be made may, within thirty days after the day on which the notice is sent to him, request that the Minister refer the case to the Court, and such notice is sufficient if it is sent by registered mail to the person at his latest known address.

Decision final

(3) A decision of the Court made under subsection (1) is final and, notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament, no appeal lies therefrom.

The role of the Federal Court in a citizenship revocation proceeding is not to determine whether an individual’s citizenship should be revoked.  Rather, as the Federal Court noted in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Obodzinsky, it is to engage in an investigative proceeding to collect evidence of facts surrounding the acquisition of citizenship, so as to determine whether it was obtained by fraudulent means.

For example, in the high profile case of Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Rogan, the first citizenship revocation case involving post World War II war crimes, the Federal Court’s role was to determine whether Mr. Rogan had either engaged in or was complicit in war crimes, and, if so, whether or not he misrepresented this information when he immigrated to Canada.  The determination of whether the misrepresentation and fraud should lead to the revocation of citizenship remained with the Government of Canada.

The same will be true for individuals involved in the current investigation.  The Federal Court will not state whether the Government of Canada should revoke the citizenship of someone encompassed by s. 10 of the Citizenship Act.  It will simply determine whether there was fraud.

Then What Happens?

The revocation of Canadian citizenship does not lead to automatic deportation.  If an individual’s entry to Canada was lawful, but the person obtained citizenship unlawfully, then revocation causes the person to revert to permanent resident status.  It does not specifically jeopardize the right of the person to remain in Canada.

However, if a person’s citizenship is revoked because the person entered Canada by false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances, then the individual will be reportable under section 44(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and may be removed from Canada without a right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division.


Changes to Language Requirements

New Language Requirements for Citizenship and PNP Applications

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has introduced new language requirements for citizenship applications and certain provincial nominee applications.  For citizenship applications, the changes will introduce objective language requirements for most applicantions.  For certain provincial nominee program (“PNP”) applications, the changes will introduce mandatory language testing.

The Citizenship Langugage Requirements  

Applicants for Canadian citizenship are required to demonstrate that they have an adequate knowledge of either English or French.  Currently, this is done through a multiple choice written test known as the Citizenship Exam, which also tests knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities of citizenship.

On April 21, 2012, the Government of Canada introduced regulatory changes that when they take affect will require that citizenship applicants enclose proof that they meet the language requirement with their citizenship application.  Acceptable means of proof will include:

  • A language test result from an authorized testing agency;
  • Evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or
  • Evidence of completion and achievement of a certain level in a government-funded language training program.

Applicants submitting test results from an authorized testing agency will have to achieve a minimum standard of Canadian Language Benchmark (“CLB”) 4 in English or Niveaux de comeptence linguistique canadiens (“NCLC”) level 4 in French.  The areas that will be tested are speaking and listening.  For those familiar with the International English Language Testing System (“IELTS”), currently required for many permanent residence applications, this translates into a 4 in each category.

Applicants who provided mandatory language testing results as part of their permanence residence applications can submit those test results with their citizenship application, and will not be required to be re-tested.

The change will affect all adult citizenship applicants between the ages of 18 and 54.

More information about the change, and the other details of the regulatory changes, can be found at the Canada Gazette here: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2012/2012-04-21/html/reg1-eng.html  

The PNP Langugage Requirements  

On April 11, 2012, CIC announced that most PNP applicants for semi- and low-skilled professions that fall under Naitonal Occupational Classification (“NOC”) Skill Levels C and D  will have to take mandatory language testing of their listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  They will be required to meet a minimum standard across all four of these categories.

Acceptable tests will include the IELTS, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (“CELPIP-General”), and the Test d’evaluation de francais.  The minimum standard required will be CLB 4.  No other evidence of language profiency will be accepted.

The change will take effect on July 1, 2012.  However, CIC has announced that any temporary foreign worker who arrives in Canada on or before July 1, 2012, and who subsequently gets nominated no later than July 1, 2013, will be exempted from the requirement.  It is important to note that while CIC has allowed this exemption, it is still unknown whether provincial governments will nonetheless start requiring language testing sooner.

It should also be noted that in January, 2012, CIC indicated that intends to introduce language testing across all PNP streams by the end of 2012.

More information about the change, and the other requirements of the program, can be found at the WelcomeBC here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2012/2012-04-11.asp  

Wilfred Laurier on Immigration [Updated - Correction]

The above picture of Wilfred Laurier, a former Prime Minister of Canada and member of the Liberal Party of Canada, is currently making the rounds on the internet accompanied by his famous passage:

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes a Canadian and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet a Canadian, and nothing but a Canadian… There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is a Canadian, but something else also, isn’t a Canadian at all. We have room for but one flag, the Canadian flag… And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the Canadian people.

People that are spreading this and citing this passage about undivided loyalty with fervour are I’m sure thinking of immigrants from certain countries with value systems very different to ours.  However, I wonder if they have actually considered the policy implication of the above passage – which is obviously whether Canada should ban its citizens from being dual (or triple) citizens?

What do you think?  Should Brett Hull, Kaya Jones, John Aimers, Peter Jennings, Megan Follows, Brian Burke, Jim Carrey, etc. have to choose?

And, if you believe in what Mr. Laurier said, do we not have room in Canada for the above individuals?

[UPDATE]

As was recently pointed out to me, in attributing the above quote and picture to Wilfred Laurier I fell for a popular myth circulating in certain circles.

Mr. Laurier did not say the above.  It was Theodore Roosevelt.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/troosevelt.asp

CIC Bans People from Wearing the Veil During Citizenship Oaths

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released Operational Bulletin 359 – Requirements for candidates to be seen taking the Oath of Citizenship at a ceremony and procedures for candidates with full or partial face coverings.

The OB has received much media publicity.  Pursuant to it, all citizenship candidates will be informed that they will be required to remove their face coverings for the oath taking portion of the citizenship ceremony, and that their failure to do so will result in the candidate not becoming a Canadian citizen on that day.

If a candidate is not seen taking the oath by a presiding official, the clerk of the ceremony must be notified immediately following the oath taking portion.  The person will not become a citizen that day.  A minor child whose parents do are not seen taking the oath will also not become a citizen that day.

A person who is not seen taking the oath will have a second chance to attend a future citizenship ceremony and take the oath.  If they do not, then their application for citizenship will be refused.  The opportunity to return to take the oath at another citizenship ceremony applies only once.

As the following tweet by Jason Kenney indicates, this policy is meant to prohibit veils, hajibs, niqabs, etc. from being worn during the oath:

kenneyjason Jason Kenney

Thanks to MP Wladyslaw Lizon for raising w/ me the aberrant practice of veiled people taking oath.He saw 4 people doing so @ recent ceremony

However, the way this OB is worded, I shudder to think of what will happen if a CIC officer has to rub some dust out of his eyes during the Citizenship Oath.