+1(514) 937-9445 or Toll-free (Canada & US) +1 (888) 947-9445

Can we take virtual oath while being in other country

msignup

Full Member
Jun 13, 2020
26
1
I am planning to travel back home and incase i receive virtual oath. will i be able to take oath online from other country?
 
 

sydcarton

Hero Member
Sep 4, 2015
543
195
I am planning to travel back home and incase i receive virtual oath. will i be able to take oath online from other country?
You cannot. They confirm if you are in Canada before proceeding and have you cut up your PR card on camera.
 

tosinosho1992

Star Member
Nov 4, 2010
137
13
You cannot. They confirm if you are in Canada before proceeding and have you cut up your PR card on camera.
Granted, but asking if you're in Canada does not mean they won't allow those outside Canada to take the oath. Did they specifically say you won't be allowed to take the oath if you're outside the country? Just curious.
 
  • Like
Reactions: moe1360

trk1

Hero Member
Jul 15, 2014
561
95
Granted, but asking if you're in Canada does not mean they won't allow those outside Canada to take the oath. Did they specifically say you won't be allowed to take the oath if you're outside the country? Just curious.
I don't think the current Citizenship act has any provisions highlighting this In-Canada and Outside Canada explicitly.

All the Citizenship Act provisions related to Grant of Citizenship A5/5.1 in this context only highlight the need to take ' the Oath of Citizenship on the day they become Canadian', but for some Minister's waiver like minors A3(b)(iv) or persons with mental disabilities A3(c).

The IRCC helpcentre has no output for key word "virtual"

The Instrument of Delegation addressing Grant of Citizenship has some authorization based on exceptions for Mission Abroad, but here also the specific scenario of being outside the geographical boundary, and wanting to taking oath in front of a Citizenship Judge virtually is not maintained.
https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ircc/migration/ircc/english/resources/tools/cit/documents/pdf/CIDe.pdf,

In the above situation, as it is under Administrative Law, it will be left to the conservative interpretation of the Minister, and that means, won't be allowed. But I also think, unless it is clarified via judicial review and a constitution question answered by the highest court, shall remain unclear.

I am not a legal expert..kindly take it as another opinion!
 
  • Like
Reactions: tosinosho1992

sydcarton

Hero Member
Sep 4, 2015
543
195
Granted, but asking if you're in Canada does not mean they won't allow those outside Canada to take the oath. Did they specifically say you won't be allowed to take the oath if you're outside the country? Just curious.
Some of the reports from people who did their virtual ceremony specify that they were asked to confirm they were in Canada. If someone wants to fake being in Canada while abroad just to take the oath should understand that IRCC won’t send the certificate to a foreign address and they will no longer have a PR card to come back.
I’m sure there are ways of getting around it by having a friend ship the certificate abroad and then trying your luck with a Canadian passport application at a local consulate. To each their own, but it's a dumb risk not worth taking.
 
Last edited:
 

issteven

Hero Member
Jan 2, 2014
671
195
virtual oath is unprecedented, so everything around it is wild west. but if you lied about your location to a citizenship judge, your citizenship can be revoked in the future , that's for sure.

lying during citizenship process is a condition to revoke citizenship.
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
5,718
2,619
"Can grant citizenship applicants take the oath online while located outside Canada?"

The short, and rather obvious answer, is NO. With emphasis. NO.

Well, "is it possble?"

As the mother of my step-children too often chided them when they were younger (or so I imagine it, as I was not in their lives then, but knowing their mother well now), "Stop It. Stop it. I said stop it."

Meaning quit that nonsense right now.

OK. This is not based on definitive sources.

And sure there are exceptional circumstances which can, POSSIBLY, allow for variations in what is actually done in facilitating taking the oath for those who are granted citizenship. Just the virtual ceremonies that are taking place now are a testament to possibilities.

But as opinions go, this one deserves about as much confidence a reasonable person can give. That is, despite the absence of definitive sources, it is about as close to definitive as a proposition based on opinion gets.

Sure, one can go chasing all sorts of phantoms into deep weeds and down a labyrinth of rabbit-holes, entertaining as possible anything that is not definitively, officially, prohibited.

But this one is a total dead-end for adult Section 5(1) grant citizenship applicants. Not going to happen.

I am no expert. But no real expertise is necessary to figure this one out.


Note: what is possible for other types of applications, including grant citizenship applications under Section 5(2), 5(4), or resumption under 11(1), for which there are provisions allowing individuals to take the oath outside Canada, as administered by a foreign service officer, is not relevant to this question.

I am planning to travel back home and incase i receive virtual oath. will i be able to take oath online from other country?
You cannot. They confirm if you are in Canada before proceeding and have you cut up your PR card on camera.
Granted, but asking if you're in Canada does not mean they won't allow those outside Canada to take the oath. Did they specifically say you won't be allowed to take the oath if you're outside the country? Just curious.
So, in case shouting NO fails to make it clear, the answer is NO. And even though no real expertise is necessary to figure this one out, I will entertain some navigating in the weeds in another post, to follow.

But for now, before going there (hopefully not too far into the weeds), in addition to the emphatic NO, a couple key observations are warranted.

FIRST:

If someone wants to fake being in Canada while abroad just to take the oath should understand that IRCC won’t send the certificate to a foreign address and they will no longer have a PR card to come back.

I’m sure there are ways of getting around it by having a friend ship the certificate abroad and then trying your luck with a Canadian passport application at a local consulate. To each their own.
This demands a louder NO. And regarding this one, I can for sure imagine the mother of my step-children raising her voice "Stop It. Stop it. I said stop it."

The underlying premise is obvious: IRCC is NOT going to allow citizenship candidates to take the oath virtually while the candidate is abroad. Not knowingly.

While there may be all sorts of ways to work around that, to do so would be asking for real trouble. Not just losing citizenship trouble. Potential jail time trouble. And any jail for more than six months could lead to loss of PR status as well. Not a direction to even think about going.


Secondly: Being Abroad for Extended Period With Citizenship Application Pending Has Real RISKS.

Many in the forum acknowledge and describe the practical risks. Like not being able to get back to Canada in time for scheduled events. Especially oath ceremonies. No need to elaborate on those here. Just a reminder, there are practical risks for those applicants who go abroad for extended time periods while their citizenship application is still pending.

The other risk tends to be underplayed by more than a few here. It is the risk of elevated scrutiny and non-routine processing, with perhaps a more severe element of skepticism looming. The ease with which many nonetheless sail to taking the oath despite, for example, having gone abroad to attend school or care for an ailing parent, has tended to overshadow it does NOT go nearly so well for many others who are living or working abroad while the application is pending. Here too, no need to elaborate on this here, just a reminder that those who are or are considering living or working abroad before they take the oath might want to peruse some of the discussions in topics specifically about going abroad (more than just a trip abroad) while the application is pending, specifically reviewing the nature and scope of risks involved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: trk1 and k.h.p.

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
5,718
2,619
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
see https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-93-246/page-3.html#docCont

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.
see https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-93-246/page-2.html#docCont

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 or one-in-a-billion? 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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: trk1 and k.h.p.
 

EUK

Hero Member
Feb 22, 2015
639
216
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
Please guys don't introduce any workarounds as this will create another process for them to validate if you are in Canada or not.

Come back here if you want to take your oath
 

trk1

Hero Member
Jul 15, 2014
561
95
Please guys don't introduce any workarounds as this will create another process for them to validate if you are in Canada or not.

Come back here if you want to take your oath
lol. Yes, the oath is also a promise to uphold the citizenship rights and responsibilities.
 

EUK

Hero Member
Feb 22, 2015
639
216
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
lol. Yes, the oath is also a promise to uphold the citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Well, I am sure the Citizenship process 10 years back was more straightforward and with less turn around time... All these strictness or checking came when people started using workarounds.
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
5,718
2,619
Well, I am sure the Citizenship process 10 years back was more straightforward and with less turn around time... All these strictness or checking came when people started using workarounds.
Not sure if this is sarcasm or what.

But, to be clear, the citizenship process was a real mess ten years ago and going downhill fast.

Changes implemented in 2015, most notably replacing the "residency" requirement with a "physical presence" requirement, turned things around and they had been steadily improving, with a hiccup or two along the way, until Covid-19 wreaked havoc on the entire world, the full ramifications yet to be seen.

For many: SKIP the rest of this.

For those interested in a tiny slice of bureaucratic history
(for others it probably does not get any more boring than this):

The citizenship process was a real mess ten years ago and quickly getting worse. A rather high percentage of those who applied in 2009 and 2010 did not take the oath for TWO plus years. With scores bogged down for more than THREE years. And the percentage of applications being denied was substantial. What this was about was multifaceted and complicated.

Side note: until 2009 the government published a lot more information about the number of applications and outcomes, and the Citizenship Commission was publishing an annual report that detailed numbers of applications made, granted, denied, including number of hearings before Citizenship Judges, as well as the number of appeals, applications for mandamus, and those outcomes; even after the Commission stopped publishing their annual report, CIC was still publishing a good deal of readily accessible information until around 2012 when the Harper government dragged a huge amount of what CIC does behind closed doors, made it confidential. And the later Liberal government has not walked that back much, not much at all. The *mess*, so to say, peaked around 2012, and around that time many participants in forums like this, including myself, were actively making Access to Information (ATI) requests (different from the ATIP requests individuals make for copies of their own records), and sharing the results, to get as much information as we could about the changes being implemented. The biggest, most pervasive, most consequential change, long overdue, was replacing the "residency" requirement with a "physical presence requirement," which took effect in June 2015.


Twelve years ago, processing citizenship applications was a real mess but not for the vast majority of applicants. And that is when the process began undergoing some dramatic changes. Part, but only PART of this, was related to what some might consider "workarounds," which in large part amounted to outright fraud, which it turned out a rather significant number of people had started using many years earlier. The "strictness or checking came" NOT "when people started using workarounds," but when CIC discovered the scope of fraud being facilitated by a number of crooked consultants. That appears to have been in 2008. Among the more high profile cases is one I have cited often, the Raslan case, in which CIC discovered that the address Raslan used when applying had been used by 33 other citizenship applicants. Investigations around that time quickly uncovered literally hundreds of applicants who had used a cluster of addresses that were in an office park area, that is, which were not even residential addresses. A number of "consultants" went to jail. All their clients, including those who were totally legitimate immigrants honestly working their way to become Canadian citizens, ended up being intensely scrutinized and sucked into lengthy, burdensome RQ processing or, for several hundred or more who had already become citizens, dragged into investigations for revoking their citizenship.

To be clear, however, as big as the scope of fraud uncovered between 2008 and 2010, plus some, there never was any indication it involved more than a few thousand among the well over a million who became new citizens in the first decade of the 21st Century. The Harper government grossly exaggerated the nature and scope of the "fraud" problem.

The *mess* peaked in 2012. That was when the Harper government adopted OB 407 (secretly . . . it took many ATI applications and months to learn about this Operational Bulletin, and much of it was never divulged publicly), implementing major changes in how citizenship applications were processed, most of which changes were probably bureaucratically efficient, but which included procedures that dragged many, many thousands of applicants (up to a third or so of new applicants in some months) into the full-blown RQ process. Citizenship processing, already badly bogged down (due to the bigger cause of the *mess* which was NOT about fraud) such that the routine processing timeline was 18 to 24 months, almost totally crashed. What happened between May 2012 and the fall of that year did not have the same impact as the measures implemented in response to Covid-19 this year; applications were still being opened and put into processing for example (and for much of 2012 one-in-five were getting RQ, with, again, around one-third in some months). But the overall impact was that six or so more months were abruptly added to the processing timeline for almost all applications, so that TWO years plus became the norm, with one-in-six or so applications bogged down in processing that would take from THREE to FOUR years.

Yeah, there were multiple active forums like this one at the time (I was a moderator at one of the most active) and the rage of well-warranted discontent was persistent and loud.

What the Harper government did, in effect, was merge two separate problems in the citizenship application process and make the huge MESS that almost crashed the system in 2012.

Which leads to what was the REAL, and MUCH LARGER PROBLEM, the REAL MESS, which was DECADES of inconsistent and sometimes incoherent decision-making derived from three very different and incompatible interpretations of what was required to meet the "residency requirement" to qualify for the Section 5(1) grant of citizenship. This went back to the 1980s and inconsistent decisions by different Federal Court justices.

[end bureaucratic history lesson 101, part one]
 
  • Like
Reactions: tankala13
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
5,718
2,619
AGAIN, MOST will want to SKIP this bureaucratic history tangent . . .


As noted in the previous post above, what the Harper government did, in effect, was merge two separate problems in the citizenship application process and make the huge MESS that almost crashed the system in 2012.

The first, and actually much lesser part of the MESS, was fraud, first the government's failure to effectively screen for or interdict citizenship fraud, and then the government's overreaction and draconian measures implemented once the nature and scope of the fraud problem became apparent.

BUT then there was the REAL, and MUCH LARGER PROBLEM, the REAL MESS, which was DECADES of inconsistent and sometimes incoherent decision-making derived from three very different and incompatible interpretations of what was required to meet the "residency requirement" to qualify for the Section 5(1) grant of citizenship. This went back to the 1980s and inconsistent decisions by different Federal Court justices. Some ruled that the way the Citizenship Act prescribed calculating days was, in effect, a physical presence requirement, requiring PRs to have been physically present IN Canada at least 1095 days within the FOUR years preceding the date of application. But other Federal Court justices ruled that all that was required was for the PR to be a resident in Canada for at least three years. There were two different approaches for this as well, which meant that in contested cases (those applications CIC did not refer to a CJ recommending approval, or the CJ did not accept the CIC recommendation, and which thus went into a residency hearing with a Citizenship Judge), the CJ could choose which of the three approaches, or "tests" for residency to apply.

The main difference, and the cause of much confusion, leading to all sorts of incongruous and often outright conflicting outcomes, was basically whether the Citizenship Judge applied a physical presence test or applied one of the residency tests.

Overall, my impression (I did not start following this stuff until around 2008) is that prior to Harper government, and perhaps for a few years into his early minority governments, CIC was essentially approaching applications using a residency test, not the actual physical presence test, but by 2007 or 2008 the Harper government was getting more strict. Between the time I began the process of actually immigrating in 2007 (I had been spending extended periods of time here for many years prior to that) and when I actually landed and became a PR (January 2009), citizenship timeline discussions in the forums went from concerns if it went longer than SIX MONTHS, to increasing discontent that for many it was as long as or longer than a YEAR . . . and by 2010 even that seemed FAST compared to how things were going.

In any event, again, the main difference, and the cause of much confusion, leading to all sorts of incongruous and often outright conflicting outcomes, was basically whether the Citizenship Judge applied a physical presence test or applied one of the residency tests. And I am not sure, but it appears that this got a lot worse around 2008 due to the Harper government more aggressively pushing the strict physical presence test.

If the CJ applied a physical presence test, the application was denied if the applicant fell short of 1095 days actual presence even if that was by just one day.

If the CJ applied a residency test, the applicant might be approved for the grant of citizenship even though he or she had been physically in Canada many, many days fewer than 1095.

Indeed, some of the cases which the Minister appealed (and in those days, appeals by the Minister were about as many as appeals by denied applicants), AND LOST (that is, cases in which the PR was approved for citizenship by a CJ but which the Minister appealed, and the Federal Court upheld the CJ's decision, requiring CIC to complete the grant of citizenship), involved applicants who had been HUNDREDS of days SHORT. I do not recall the precise numbers in the most extreme cases, but some involved individuals who had only been in Canada a few hundred days. I vaguely recall at least one case in which the applicant had been actually IN Canada no more than several months.

So there were cases, many of them, in which the applicant was denied citizenship even though he or she was physically present in Canada well over 1000 days, within the four relevant years, while many other applicants were granted citizenship even though they were outside Canada more than TWO of the relevant four years.

Since Federal Court decisions do NOT establish binding precedent, and there was NO appeal of the Federal Court decisions allowed, there was no resolution of the conflicting tests. (One of the other big changes implemented in 2015, maybe this one took effect in 2014, was the addition of provisions allowing for an appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal if there are "certified" questions . . . so for the last five years or so, there is a way to resolve conflicting decisions by different Federal Courts.)

And back then CIC had far fewer tools to verify an applicant's claims about travel history. Even by 2010, or so, CBSA client entry-into-Canada records were typically far shy of complete (while it was 9/11/2001 that triggered changes resulting in more thoroughly capturing client entry data, that took many years . . . prior to the fall of 2001 I crossed the border many dozens of times without showing any identification at all, not once over the course of many years, and even continued to do so often for several years after that . . . and this or that PoE, such as one on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, Ontario, for ferries from Cape Vincent in New York, did not routinely scan or otherwise capture a record for entering travelers).

It was a total mess. The safe approach, for those applying for citizenship, was to WAIT and apply ONLY after they met the actual physical presence test. But there was, nonetheless, a steady stream of applicants applying based on having established and maintained a residence in Canada for at least three years, even though they spent a lot of time abroad.

There was NO WAY to know which test would be applied until a Citizenship Judge decided which test would be applied. CJs did not have to explain why they were applying one test versus the other. The CJ did not even have to inform applicants during the hearing which test would be applied. They could simply decide which test to use. And there was nothing that required a CJ to consistently apply the same test . . . a CJ could apply the residency test to an immigrant from the UK and, for the very next case, say an immigrant from Pakistan, apply the strict actual physical presence test. All the case law required was that the CJ clearly articulate which test was used and how he or she decided the case applying that test.

INJUSTICE was, well, all too common.

Applicants relying on meeting a residency test without meeting the physical presence test were called "shortfall" applications. For whatever reason, the information about qualifying for citizenship published online by CIC only warned that such applications would have to be decided by a Citizenship Judge. But at the time ALL citizenship applications were decided by a CJ. All grants of citizenship had to be approved by a CJ. The caution did not clarify that shortfall applications would almost for sure be issued RQ and referred to a CJ residency hearing, let alone that CIC itself would argue to the CJ that the application should be denied because it did not meet the physical presence test.

That NOT knowing which test would apply was particularly problematic. Applicants going into a hearing with the CJ did not know, not even then, which standard or test would apply. Which was crazy. I often emphasize that Canada is a rule-of-law country, and to my view it is indeed, and high up compared to other countries which purport to be a rule-of-law country. While perfection is not expected, in this particular aspect, back then, Canada fell rather far short.

There was no shortage of injustice. In decision after decision, many Federal Court justices implored Parliament to fix the problem. This was a problem that persisted for over a QUARTER CENTURY but became especially problematic after the mid-2000s when, under the Harper government, CIC began the policy of referring almost all shortfall applications for a CJ residency hearing and recommending the CJ deny any applicant with a shortfall. So by 2008 to 2010, yes, yes indeed, citizenship application processing was a REAL MESS. . .

. . . and then CIC realized how badly it had dropped the ball in screening for fraud.

Finally, legislation introduced in early 2014, adopted in June of that year, and then not taking effect until June 2015, implemented the actual physical presence requirement.

[end bureaucratic history lesson 101, part two]
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: tankala13

eatpraylove

Star Member
Jan 5, 2017
180
31
that is not possible by any means ...
First of all you wont have your PR card to return
secondly, in your application you have to mention details of other passports you carry, which will immediately raise a flag once you return to collect your certificate .. which god knows how you will make it through.
Thirdly, what makes you so sure that they wouldn't be able to track your connection and know if you are inbound or outbound ?!!
 
Last edited: