The Supreme Court said the Registrar of Citizenship - the agency responsible for providing citizenship in Canada - acted "unreasonably" in revoking Vavilov’s Canadian citizenship in 2014 and sided with the Federal Court of Appeal, which ruled to reinstate Vavilov’s citizenship in 2017.
The Canadian government appealed the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court.
"The appeal should be dismissed," the court document said on Thursday.
The Supreme Court judges referred to the Citizenship Act, which states that Canadian citizenship is conferred upon every individual born in Canada, except a child of a diplomatic or consular officer or other representative or employee in Canada of a foreign government, the document said.
The Supreme Court said Vavilov, whose parents’ activities were unbeknownst to him, did not come to enjoy the privileges and immunities granted to official foreign entities in Canada and therefore Alexander is entitled to Canadian citizenship.
In 2010, ten Russian citizens pleaded guilty to US charges of failing to register as agents of a foreign government and were deported from the United States in exchange for the release by Moscow of four Russians convicted of spying for the West.
Among the ten Russians were Vavilov’s parents Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who lived in the United States and Canada under the assumed names of Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley.
Alexander has an elder brother Timofey, who is also seeking to reinstate Canadian citizenship. Timofey’s case is still pending.