Until recently, the Government of Canada adopted a very aggressive approach regarding the initiation of cessation applications against permanent residents who are protected persons. The reason is because since 2012 people who lose their protected person status for any of the following reasons also lose their permanent resident status:
- the person has voluntarily re-availed himself or herself of the protection of their country of nationality;
- the person has voluntarily reacquired their nationality;
- the person has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of that new nationality; and
- the person has voluntarily become re-established in the country that the person left before claiming refugee status in Canada.
Several permanent residents with citizenship applications in processing have been affected by cessation applications. In Godinez Ovalle v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), the Federal Court rather bluntly told both Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) and the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) that they were out of line, and even called their approach “inhumane.”
Ultimately, however, the Federal Court of Appeal in 2017 determined that IRCC can indeed suspend the processing of citizenship applications while cessation proceedings are underway.