Can I Apply for Canadian Citizenship If I Have a Deportation Order?

Can I Apply for Canadian Citizenship If I Have a Deportation Order?

1. Overview of Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizenship is a status granted to individuals who meet specific eligibility criteria set by the Government of Canada. Becoming a Canadian citizen offers numerous benefits, including the right to vote, access to social benefits, and the ability to hold a Canadian passport. For many immigrants, acquiring Canadian citizenship represents the final step in their journey towards establishing a new life in the country.

2. Understanding Deportation Orders

Definition and Types of Deportation Orders

A deportation order is a legal document issued by Canadian immigration authorities, instructing a foreign national to leave Canada. There are three main types of removal orders:

  1. Departure Order: Requires the foreign national to leave Canada within 30 days after the order becomes enforceable.
  2. Exclusion Order: Prohibits the foreign national from returning to Canada for a specified period, usually one or two years.
  3. Deportation Order: Results in a permanent ban on the foreign national’s return to Canada unless they receive written authorization from an immigration officer.

For more information on removal orders, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Reasons for Issuing Deportation Orders

Deportation orders can be issued for various reasons, including:

  1. Failure to comply with the conditions of a temporary resident permit or visa.
  2. Misrepresentation or fraud on immigration applications.
  3. Criminal convictions or involvement in criminal activities.
  4. National security concerns.
  5. Human or international rights violations.
  6. Overstaying a visa or working without authorization.

For a comprehensive list of reasons, consult the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Consequences of Deportation Orders

A deportation order has severe consequences for the affected individual. These may include:

  1. Loss of legal status in Canada.
  2. Inadmissibility to Canada, barring re-entry without written authorization.
  3. Detention and removal from Canada.
  4. Possible impact on future immigration applications.
  5. Criminal charges and penalties if the person re-enters Canada without authorization.

For detailed information on the consequences of deportation orders, refer to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

3. Canadian Citizenship Requirements

General Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, applicants must meet the following general criteria:

  1. Be a permanent resident of Canada.
  2. Have lived in Canada for at least 1,095 days within the five years before applying.
  3. Have filed income taxes, if required.
  4. Prove their language skills in English or French.
  5. Pass a citizenship test on Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols.

For more information on eligibility requirements, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Residency Requirements

Applicants must have physically lived in Canada for a minimum of 1,095 days within the five years before applying for citizenship. This requirement ensures that the applicant has established strong ties to the country and has had the opportunity to integrate into Canadian society.

Language Proficiency

Applicants must demonstrate adequate proficiency in either English or French, Canada’s official languages. Language skills are assessed through an approved language test, evidence of completing secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, or government-funded language training.

Knowledge of Canada

Applicants must pass a citizenship test that evaluates their knowledge of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols. This test ensures that new citizens understand the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship and are familiar with the country’s cultural, political, and social landscape.

Criminal History and Security

Canadian citizenship applicants must not pose a threat to Canada’s security or have a criminal history that would make them inadmissible. A criminal background check is conducted as part of the application process. Those with serious criminal records or involvement in activities that threaten Canada’s safety may be denied citizenship.

4. Impact of a Deportation Order on Canadian Citizenship Application

Inadmissibility to Canada

A deportation order results in the person being inadmissible to Canada. Inadmissibility is a significant barrier to applying for Canadian citizenship, as one must have permanent resident status and meet the residency requirements to be eligible. Being inadmissible means the individual cannot obtain or maintain permanent resident status, making it impossible to apply for citizenship.

Effect on Permanent Residency Status

A deportation order can lead to the loss of permanent resident status, further complicating the path to citizenship. Without permanent resident status, an individual cannot meet the basic eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship.

Possible Waivers and Exceptions

In some cases, waivers or exceptions may be available to individuals with a deportation order. These may include applying for a Temporary Resident Permit, seeking rehabilitation, or requesting an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) after leaving the country. However, obtaining a waiver or exception does not guarantee eligibility for Canadian citizenship, and applicants must still meet all other requirements.

For more information on waivers and exceptions, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

5. Addressing a Deportation Order Before Applying for Citizenship

Appealing the Deportation Order

In some cases, individuals may appeal a deportation order to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) or the Federal Court. It’s essential to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to determine if an appeal is possible and the best course of action. For more information on appealing a removal order, visit the IRB’s website.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) allows an individual who is inadmissible to Canada to enter the country for a specific purpose and a limited time. A TRP does not guarantee permanent residence or citizenship but may offer temporary relief and the opportunity to resolve the deportation order. Learn more about TRPs on the Government of Canada’s website.

Rehabilitation and Record Suspension

Rehabilitation and record suspension may be options for individuals with criminal inadmissibility. Rehabilitation is a process that allows individuals to overcome their criminal inadmissibility by demonstrating that they have been rehabilitated and do not pose a risk to Canadian society. Record suspension (previously called a pardon) is a process through which an individual’s criminal record is set aside in Canada. For more information on rehabilitation and record suspension, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

In exceptional circumstances, individuals facing a deportation order may apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. H&C applications consider factors such as the best interests of any affected children, establishment in Canada, and hardships faced if returned to their home country. It is important to note that H&C applications are highly discretionary and success is not guaranteed. Learn more about H&C applications on the Government of Canada’s website.

6. Steps to Apply for Canadian Citizenship After Resolving a Deportation Order

Ensuring Eligibility Criteria Are Met

Before applying for Canadian citizenship, ensure that all eligibility criteria, including permanent resident status and residency requirements, are met. Consult the eligibility requirements outlined by the Government of Canada.

Gathering Required Documents

Collect all necessary documents to support your citizenship application, including proof of permanent residence, evidence of residency in Canada, language proficiency documents, and any other required documents.

Submitting the Application and Paying Fees

Complete and submit the citizenship application form along with the required documents and fees. The current processing fee for adult applicants is $630. For more information on the application process and fees, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Preparing for and Taking the Citizenship Test

Once your application has been received and reviewed, you will be scheduled to take the citizenship test if you are between the ages of 18 and 54. The test evaluates your knowledge of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols, as well as your understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. To prepare for the test, study the official guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, which is available on the Government of Canada’s website. You may also wish to attend information sessions or take practice tests available online to help you prepare.

Attending the Citizenship Ceremony

If you pass the citizenship test and meet all other requirements, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony. The ceremony is a significant event, marking the official granting of Canadian citizenship. At the ceremony, you will take the Oath of Citizenship, receive your citizenship certificate, and be welcomed as a new Canadian citizen.

It is essential to bring all required documents to the ceremony, including your permanent resident card and any other requested identification. Dress appropriately for the occasion, as the ceremony is a formal event.

For more information on the citizenship ceremony, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

7. Summary of Key Points

In summary, applying for Canadian citizenship with a deportation order is highly challenging, as the order leads to inadmissibility and may result in the loss of permanent resident status. To improve your chances of successfully applying for Canadian citizenship, consider addressing the deportation order by appealing the decision, applying for a Temporary Resident Permit, seeking rehabilitation or record suspension, or exploring humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Once the deportation order has been resolved, ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship, gather the necessary documents, and submit your application. Prepare for and take the citizenship test, and attend the citizenship ceremony to officially become a Canadian citizen.

Importance of Seeking Professional Advice

Navigating the complexities of immigration law and resolving a deportation order can be difficult. It is highly recommended that you seek professional advice from an experienced immigration lawyer or consultant to guide you through the process and improve your chances of success. A professional can help assess your unique situation, recommend the best course of action, and assist with preparing and submitting required documentation.

Remember that each case is different, and the outcome may vary depending on individual circumstances. Therefore, seeking professional advice is crucial to maximize your chances of resolving a deportation order and eventually applying for Canadian citizenship.