Federal Court


Citizenship

APPEAL
Inadequacy of reasons was significant flaw

Appeal by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from decision of citizenship judge, granting respondent citizenship. Respondent was citizen of Iran who entered Canada and was landed as permanent resident. He applied for citizenship on May 10, 2008. Relevant period for calculating his residence in Canada was May 10, 2004 to May 10, 2008. Respondent appeared before citizenship judge on October 11, 2011. After hearing respondent submitted additional evidence relevant to period at issue, including pay stubs, college transcripts and attestation of participation in language training program. Citizenship judge approved application, finding applicant met criteria as defined in Koo (Re) (1992), 37 A.C.W.S. (3d) 435 (F.C. T.D.). Issue whether citizenship judge erred in finding that respondent met residence requirement set out in s. 5(1)(c) of Citizenship Act (Can.). Applicant contended that citizenship judge who chooses to apply reasoning in Koo must make it clear that all relevant factors were addressed in reaching decision and that judge erred by not mentioning which factors of Koo test were relevant to his decision. Applicant further contended that three Koo factors required citizenship judge to determine when respondent was physically present in Canada during relevant period and that citizenship judge erred by not doing so. Application granted. Inadequacy of reasons was significant flaw that contributed to unreasonableness of citizenship judge’s decision. Reasons in case at bar were only one paragraph long. Decision stated that application was approved on basis of Koo criteria and that parts of requested documentation submitted by respondent after hearing were satisfactory. There was no explanation as to which documents satisfied citizenship judge or why documents he received subsequent to hearing responded to his concerns. All six factors from Koo did not need to be explicitly reviewed and analyzed by citizenship judge, but at very least he had to address Koo factors which were relevant to his decision. It was far from clear how citizenship judge arrived at his decision to approve respondent’s citizenship application based on evidence before him. Decision of citizenship judge was unreasonable.

Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Ayatizadeh (Dec. 19, 2012, F.C., Tremblay-Lamer J., File No. T-2111-11) 223 A.C.W.S. (3d) 315.

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