Misrepresentation Canada Visa and Immigration
Before we discuss misrepresentation in Canada, let’s have a quick reminder. When you apply for an immigration visa, study permit, or work permit to Canada, you need to answer several questions. Of course, you also need to submit several documents. Consequently, some questions and documents reveal the following:
- Identity (name, date of birth, citizenship, etc.)
- Marital status (single, married, common-law relationships, etc.)
- Family members (dependent or non-dependent, accompanying or not-accompanying)
- Background (criminal history, security issues, medical problems, etc.)
- Suitability for the option you have chosen (e.g. education, financial status, work history, funds available to you, work status, etc.)
- Other (e.g. your ties to your home country or Canada)
Of course, the exact questions depend on the type of application and, in some cases, your country of origin. Regardless, deliberately wrong answers or hiding information could constitute misrepresentation.
Table of contents
- Material fact and misrepresentation
- Inadmissibility because of misrepresentation
- Removal orders due to misrepresentation
- Even more serious consequences
- Remedies for misrepresentation
- Some last words about misrepresentation
- Let us help!
The information that affects the decision of the immigration officer is a material fact. Therefore, the officers expect you to share the material fact with them thoroughly and without altering it. Consequently, if you directly or indirectly withhold material fact or make changes to deceive the officer, you have committed misrepresentation.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is really harsh to those who commit misrepresentation. Under section 40 of the IRPA, a foreign national or a permanent resident will be inadmissible to Canada for five years due to misrepresentation. Consequently, the officer refuses the application as well. In Canada’s permanent residents, they will lose their permanent resident status and become foreign nationals concerning Canada.
Section 40 of the IRPA does not affect Canadian citizens. However, if the misrepresentation had occurred when they were applying for citizenship or applying for permanent residence, they could lose their Canadian citizenship under section 10 of the Citizenship Act. Consequently, they become foreign nationals.
Under section 127 of the IRPA, any person who undermines the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by misrepresentation has committed an offence. Of course, misrepresentation in this context includes withholding or altering material facts or refusing to answer the questions raised by an officer, or affirm their answers’ truthfulness. Moreover, under section 126 of the IRPA, those who help the applicant commit misrepresentation also commit an offence.
You may ask what the penalty for such offences is. Well, under section 128 of IRPA, if your actions fall under sections 126 or 127, you may face up to five years imprisonment or up to a $100,000 fine or a combination of both. Interestingly, these consequences cover every person regardless of their status in Canada. Therefore, Canadian citizens are not immune.
If you misrepresent, you lose the right to appeal the officer’s decision except for spouses or common-law partners in sponsorship applications (see subsection 64(3) of the IRPA).
In a recent article, I have explored misrepresentation because of forging documents.
If you are facing misrepresentation allegations, you might have the following options:
- Try to mitigate the situation by being honest and remorseful.
- If you have not misrepresented, present convincing documents to prevent consequences.
- Challenge the decision to the Federal Court (i.e. Judicial Review)
- Apply for Authorization to Return to Canada if you have received an Exclusion Order due to misrepresentation
- Apply for a Temporary Resident Permit to be able to come back to Canada for a limited time (usually between one day to three years)
- Sometimes you could apply for immigration under the H&C program.
There is no guarantee you succeed in any of the above options. Regardless, you may also find the following article useful:
Of course, if you face criminal offences because of misrepresentation, you must seek help from a lawyer.
If five years pass from inadmissibility, you may apply for a visa or immigration to Canada. However, expect the officers to scrutinize your application.
Make sure you understand what is a material fact about the application you submit. Thus, be truthful and not hide the material facts from the immigration officers or border services officers. Remember, the consequences are significant. Of course, if the facts are irrelevant to the application and do not affect the officer’s decision in any shape and form, you are not obliged to share them with the officer. The rule of thumb says everything on the forms and document checklists is a material fact. Sometimes you make mistakes, and officers consider them as misrepresentation. You need to communicate the matter with the officer as soon as possible and do your best to convince them you did not misrepresent.
If you are facing misrepresentation or other immigration issues, contact us through the following form. Of course, we will review your information and documents and will contact you as soon as possible.
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.
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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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