Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: February 8, 2021

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?

The discussions in this article cover permanent-resident, temporary status and citizenship applications. Nonetheless, I mostly use the term immigration for simplicity.

Material facts

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.

What is 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:

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 information while applying on paper or online

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.

Port of entry issues

If you hide information at a port of entry, you could face serious consequences. According to subsection 127(c) of IRPA,

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:

Hiding information while applying for citizenship

If you knowingly hide material facts at the time of citizenship, you could face the following problems:

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.

What can I do?

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.

Let us help!

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.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    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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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.