Above I offered an opinion. Emphasizing, nonetheless, that it is as close to being as definitive a proposition expressing an opinion can get.
No, IRCC is NOT going to be allowing (not knowingly) adult
Section 5(1) grant citizenship candidates to take the oath online while they are located abroad.
Regarding this, it should be NO surprise at all that citizenship candidates must be present IN Canada to attend a "citizenship ceremony," virtual or otherwise.
As usual, however, there are possible EXCEPTIONS. And, indeed, the Citizenship Regulations governing the necessary (with exceptions) administration of the oath (Regulations 17 through 24) cover scenarios in which the oath is administered by a foreign service officer outside Canada.
SO WHY NOT? Some are sure to ask. And, among those akin to anti-vaxxers and others who doubt the obvious, some will demand definitive authority but be disinclined to believe even that.
But for purposes of what might really happen for adult Section 5(1) applicants, let's be clear, such exceptions are NOT practically relevant. That is, the virtual oath ceremonies being discussed here are the administration of the oath to candidates granted citizenship pursuant to Section 5(1) of the Citizenship Act. Provisions for administering the oath by a foreign service officer outside Canada only apply to the grant of citizenship pursuant to Section 5(2), 5(4) or 11(1).
The latter is governed by Section 20 in the Citizenship Regulations
The former, which is what almost all the applicants (referred to as "candidates" once the grant of citizenship has been approved) here are, that is adults who have made an application for citizenship pursuant to Section 5(1) of the Citizenship Act, whose taking of the oath is governed by Section 19 in the Citizenship Regulations. Section 19 specifically requires taking the oath (1) before a citizenship judge, and (2) "unless" the Minister otherwise directs, the oath must be taken at a citizenship ceremony.
While some may be interested in wandering down a rabbit-hole into interpreting what can constitute a "citizenship ceremony," and perhaps the authorization to conduct the virtual ceremonies addresses this, but it is more likely that the sticky-points
, so to say, requiring formal authorization of these virtual ceremonies (by the Minister or his delegate, as authorized), have to do with provisions in Regulation 17 of the Citizenship Regulations requiring the CJ to "personally
" present certificates of citizenship (kind of difficult to do virtually, unless one expands the meaning of "personally" well beyond its standard usage and the way it is clearly meant). That is, while I have been unable to locate a copy of the text in the actual authorization for conducting these virtual ceremonies, whatever it authorizes almost certainly is still (1) an "oath ceremony," and (2) conducted by a Citizenship Judge.
For which there is no provision governing doing these outside Canada. (Also note, for those who are especially weed oriented, the term "ceremony" is not used in reference to the administration of the oath by foreign service officers outside Canada.)
And just that is weedy enough. Bottom-line, (other than those possible, but practically not really, catch-all exceptions, like those pursuant to Section 5(4) in the Citizenship Act or Regulation 22 in the Citizenship Regulations) the only provisions for administering the oath outside Canada involve those where a foreign officer may administer the oath, and those provisions (which I have cited linked above) do NOT apply to Section 5(1) applicants.
The simple part: There is no provision for Citizenship Judges to administer the oath or conduct Oath Ceremonies outside Canada.
THE OTHER DEEPER RABBIT-HOLE: Is IRCC Prohibited From Allowing Virtual Ceremony Participants To Take The Oath While Abroad?
There is a tendency in this forum to entertain POSSIBLE variations in what IRCC or, in this situation, the Citizenship Commission (technically under the umbrella of IRCC, organizationally, but largely an administrative body operating independently), CAN DO. Like, can the Citizenship Commission (the body of Citizenship Judges) allow citizenship candidates abroad to take the oath virtually and still comply with Regulation 17 in the Citizenship Regulations?
For most, this query is far more likely to evoke "Who cares?
" As in who cares if that is possible. Since even if the CJs can, it is readily recognized they will NOT.
That is, NO prohibition is necessary because there is no prospect IRCC or the Citizenship Commission is going to move in that direction.
For those who persist in the view that if it is not prohibited, it is at least possible, perhaps I could persuade them to contribute to my campaign to be Prime Minister. It is possible I could do it.
In some movie, probably one of those over-the-top disaster movies riddled with bad science, a character muses about probabilities . . . one-in-a-million
? It's a dumb disaster movie so it does not matter. It's going to happen.
This is no movie. Even if we are in the midst of a disaster, which our neighbour to the south seems intent on exacerbating. Kind of like take a bad song and make it worse.