Federal Court


Citizenship

APPEAL
Judge did not raise discrepancy in declared absences with foreign national

Foreign national was stateless individual who was born in Kuwait and who became permanent resident of Canada on June 7, 2003. Foreign national applied for citizenship on August 8, 2008. Foreign national had interview before judge on April 18, 2013. Foreign national did not submit passport which covered period from September 10, 2004 to May 4, 2009, so that absences were not verifiable. Judge noted credibility concerns regarding discrepancy between absences listed on foreign national’s original application (354 days) and his residence questionnaire (34 days). Judge was not satisfied that foreign national had proven that he was physically present in Canada for 1,095 days during relevant period and denied application. Foreign national appealed. Appeal allowed; application referred back to another citizenship judge for re-determination. While judge’s decision was not unreasonable, decision hinged on negative credibility finding, based on discrepancy in declared absences, however judge did not raise this discrepancy with foreign national. Given necessary procedural fairness afforded to applicants in citizenship applications and centrality of this issue to foreign national’s claim, there had been breach of procedural fairness.

Abdou v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (May. 26, 2014, F.C., Michael D. Manson J., File No. T-1638-13) 240 A.C.W.S. (3d) 814.

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