Avoiding Misrepresentation in Canadian Immigration
Misrepresentation is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Canadian immigration law, and it can lead to the most severe consequences. Misrepresenting a fact or not disclosing a fact can lead to a bar on admissibility that prevents you from entering or remaining in Canada or obtaining permanent status.
While many people believe they are safe from misrepresentation claims if they do not lie directly to an immigration officer during the process, this is not always the case. Not disclosing a material fact can still make you inadmissible for misrepresentation.
Canada is very strict on misrepresentation
Section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible to Canada for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of Canada’s immigration laws.
Furthermore, section 40(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that a foreign national who is inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation cannot apply for permanent residence during the five year bar.
There is no time limit
There is no time limit for a finding of misrepresentation. The government can find you inadmissible even after many years has passed since you gained your Canadian status.
If you are found guilty under this section, it can lead to revocation of your temporary or permanent residence status, and even citizenship. It can also lead to your removal from Canada, and in some cases criminal charges.
Being found inadmissible
Some common examples or mistakes that may cause you to be inadmissible for misrepresentation are:
You failed to disclose that you were once arrested, charged, detained, or convicted. Even if the offence was considered minor or a misdemeanour in your country (for example DUI's, using a fake ID etc.).
You failed to disclose that you were refused or denied any type of immigration application both in Canada OR in another country. For example a visitor visa refusal or study or work permit refusals etc.
You misrepresented or lied about the the purpose of your trip (e.g., going on vacation vs. visiting family, or coming to work).
You failed to disclose something during an interview or examination with an officer at the border checkpoint.
You misrepresented your identity, or your marriage or civil status, etc.
If unsure, always disclose!
If there is any doubt as to whether or not something should be disclosed on your immigration forms (such as whether or not you have ever been arrested), always disclose it!
Do not take any chances by withholding information that could jeopardize your ability to obtain Canadian permanent residency or citizenship now or in the future.