Last Updated on December 12, 2011 by Steven Meurrens

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.