CIC Issues update to requirement for Citizenship Oath

CIC updates Canadian Oath Ceremony of Citizenship rules to allow for religious accommodation following a recent court ruling about dress code during the oath.

Read about the Court ruling and proceeding here.

The update states:

Following the recent decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada v. Ishaq, operational instructions related to the delivery of the Oath of Citizenship have been updated.

The operational policy requires applicants to remove their face covering when taking the Oath, but applicants who are unwilling to do so for religious reasons must now be accommodated and allowed to recite the Oath of Citizenship privately, in front of a female judge or official who is authorized to administer the Oath, before joining the public ceremony.

In September, the Federal Court of Appeal had dismissed an appeal by government over a ban on face coverings at citizenship ceremonies. It was a long-fought debate between the conservative government and Ms. Ishaq (Party in this court Ruling).

This issue was also used as a scoring point in the 2015 Federal Elections. Conservative lost this election to Liberals. For some this election was viewed as referendum on government stance on many issues including this major religious point.

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