Canada's Conservative government will appeal to the Supreme Court after losing an attempt to ban the practice of wearing face veils while swearing the oath of citizenship.

The case involves Zunera Ishaq, a 29-year-old woman from Pakistan, who refused to take part in a citizenship ceremony after arriving in Canada in 2008, because she would have to remove her niqab.

A federal court considering Ishaq's case found the face veil ban at citizenship ceremonies unlawful and on Tuesday the appeal court let that ruling stand.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Wednesday the government will appeal.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said the niqab is "rooted in a culture that is anti-women."