Cases & Decisions

Mayes and JFCY v Minister of Citizenship and Immigration [Citizenship Application Fees]

Court: Federal Court, 2019

JFCY was a public interest litigant in a proceeding before the Federal Court seeking the right of applicants for citizenship to seek an exemption (or reduction of fees) in cases of special and unusual hardship.

Below is the notice issued following the settlement of the case, links to the settlement order, and the materials filed with the court.

NOTICE REGARDING CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION FEES in cases of special and unusual hardship

To:       Citizenship applicants, and their advocates

From:   Neighbourhood Legal Services & Justice for Children and Youth

Date:    February 6, 2019

Re:      Tammie Lynn Mayes and Justice for Children and Youth v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Together, Neighbourhood Legal Services representing the Applicant Tammie Mayes and Justice for Children and Youth as a public interest party, are happy to report a valuable settlement of litigation that will enable applicants for Canadian citizenship to request an “exemption from any applicable processing fees” on account of “special and unusual hardship”, pursuant to an request for an exercise of discretion under subsection 5(4) of the Citizenship Act.

Tammie Mayes, born in the United States, was a child raised in the care of an Ontario Children’s Aid Society, having been made a permanent Crown ward at age 11. After aging out of care in 1988 without permanent immigration status in Canada, she sought to regularize her status but the application fees and paperwork posed multiple barriers for her; it was not until 2016, when she was about 47 years old, that she was finally granted permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

In March 2015 Ms. Mayes also applied for Canadian citizenship, but requested a waiver of the $630 application fee on compassionate grounds and to alleviate the special and unusual hardship she faced as a person with a disability and further to s. 5(4) of the Citizenship Act. Citizenship and Immigration Canada refused to process her application without payment of the fee. Ms. Mayes challenged this refusal as unreasonable and in violation of the s. 7 Charter right to security of the person, and on grounds that the blanket application fee for citizenship applications without regard to the multiple deprivations and difficulties faced by former Crown wards exacerbated and perpetuated their disadvantages in violation of the s.15 Charter guarantee of equal protection and benefit of the law.

Please use the Court Order in Mayes JFCY v MCI in advocating for waivers from the citizenship application fee.

For further information, contact:

Asiya Hirji and Jennifer Stone, Neighbourhood Legal Services, 416-861-0677

Mayes JFCY Memo 2018
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