Can I hide information while immigrating to Canada?
Most people have some embarrassing secrets in their lives. Disclosing such information to others is difficult. However, if the other person is an immigration officer, hiding secrets may have consequences. For example, they could refuse your application. Consequently, is it okay if you hide information while immigrating to Canada?
- Material facts
- What is an application?
- Hiding information while applying on paper or online
- Port of entry issues
- Hiding information while applying for citizenship
- What can I do?
- Let us help!
When you are immigrating to Canada, some aspects of your life stand out. For example, your education is essential for economic immigration. However, education is usually not an integral aspect of family reunification or refugee applications. Therefore, depending on the immigration option, some parts of your life are essential, and some are not. Material facts refer to those aspects that are decisive in the context of the application. Generally speaking, you must refrain from hiding material facts from an officer. Of course, you may consult with a professional to identify material facts in an application.
Before discussing the concept of hiding information, let’s explain an application in immigration to Canada. An application could be explicit or implicit. Moreover, it could be on paper, oral or online. Here are some examples:
- An on-paper spousal application for a common-law partner outside Canada
- An online TRV application for visiting Canada as a business person
- Entering Canada via a US-Canada land crossing and explaining a BSO, you are visiting a family member.
- Presenting your documents to an officer in the airport to receive your work permit
Of course, this list could go on and on. Regardless, you may not hide material facts from an officer in any of these circumstances.
Hiding material facts while applying online or on paper is a misrepresentation. If an officer decides you have misrepresented, you may face one or more of the following circumstances.
In severe cases, the officers may even pursue criminal charges. Consequently, you may even face fines and incarceration. As I mentioned earlier, a person could face all these problems at the same time.
No person shall knowingly refuse to be sworn or to affirm or declare, as the case may be, or to answer a question put to the person at an examination or at a proceeding held under this Act.
Simply put, any question a border officer asks you becomes a material fact. Therefore, if you refuse to answer the questions, you are breaching section 127 of the Act. The maximum penalty for contravening this section of the Act is $100,000 in fines and five years in prison. Regardless, all other issues that I explained about online or on paper applications could also apply to the port of entry applications. However, sometimes border officers pursue one of the following options instead of more severe consequences:
- Voluntary withdrawal of the application
- Direction to Return to the US, if you are travelling from the United States.
If you knowingly hide material facts at the time of citizenship, you could face the following problems:
- Refusal of the citizenship application
- Losing the permanent resident status
- Becoming inadmissible to Canada for 60 months
- Facing fines for up to $100,000
- Facing prison time for up to five years
As you can see, the consequences are dire. Of course, not everyone faces all of these. However, I had to show you the dark picture.
Of course, the simple answer is, stay away from hiding information (primarily material facts) from the immigration officers. Nonetheless, if something like this happens, contact a professional for help. You may also watch my video on this subject.
If you are facing issues because of hiding information or other matters, fill out the following form. You may alternatively book an appointment with me.
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
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