2015-01-29 | 2015 CF 116 | T-346-14
El-Husseini c Canada (Citoyenneté et Immigration)
Procedural fairness requires a citizenship judge to take sufficient measures to inform a citizenship applicant of any evidence-related problems with his application before a final decision is rendered.
El-Husseini sought judicial review of a citizenship judge’s decision to reject his citizenship application.
After an interview with a citizenship judge, El-Husseini’s application was rejected because he was unable to prove that he had resided in Canada prior to January 2008. El-Husseini contended that he had brought evidence to the interview proving his presence in Canada prior to January 2008, but had never been asked to furnish it. The citizenship judge contended, on the other hand, that El-Husseini had been unable to provide the evidence when asked.
In light of conflicting affidavits, the Federal Court opined that there was a miscommunication between El-Husseini and the citizenship judge concerning the evidence. In light of this miscommunication, the Court confirmed that it is a citizenship judge’s responsibility to clearly inform a citizenship applicant of any evidence-related concerns regarding his application before a final decision is rendered. Given the citizenship judge’s failure to clear up the misunderstanding regarding the evidence El-Husseini was supposed to provide, the Court found the rejection of El-Huseeini’s application to have been a breach of procedural fairness.
The application for judicial review was allowed and El-Husseini’s application was sent for re-evaluation by a new citizenship judge.