Has your immigration case been refused based on Misrepresentation?
Have you received a procedural fairness letter?
At Bellissimo Law Group PC we can help!
Findings of immigration inadmissibility (not allowed entry into Canada or are being removed from Canada) on the basis of immigration misrepresentation are becoming increasingly common following the passage of the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act increased the bar for inadmissibility from 2 to 5 years so immigration misrepresentation findings are even more significant now because a foreign national or permanent resident is also barred for 5 years from making an application to return to Canada.
Who can be found to be inadmissible for misrepresentation?
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) sets out that a foreign national or permanent resident can be found to have misrepresented for many reasons some of which include:
- Providing information to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that is inconsistent, inaccurate, or incomplete, and that as a result has or could induce an error in the administration of the IRPA;
- Withholding material facts from IRCC or CBSA that are relevant to the matter and that, as a result, has or could induce an error in the administration of the IRPA;
- Being sponsored by an individual who has been found to be inadmissible for misrepresentation;
- Following the vacation of a decision to allow of a claim or application for refugee protection; or
- Following cessation of citizenship based on a determination that this status was obtained by false representation or fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances.
Examples of material misrepresentations (that could induce an error) would be:
- Failure to declare that you have been refused a visa for another country;
- Providing a document that is found to not be genuine;
- Failure to mention a family member;
- Declare employment experience which you do not have; or
- Engage in a non-genuine marriage.
Examples of non-material misrepresentations (that could not induce an error) or is of limited relevance could be in certain circumstances:
- Reversing the date and month of birth on an application;
- Indicating being single when widowed; or
- Providing correct and consistent information on multiple forms except one.
Misrepresented information can be provided (or omitted) by the main (principal) applicant, a family member, or your representative. In all cases, it is the principal applicant who is at fault – even if they did not know the misrepresentation occurred.
The process for finding a migrant inadmissible for immigration misrepresentation requires that the foreign national or permanent resident first be provided with the opportunity to respond to the allegations, which should be set out either during an interview with a decision maker or in a Procedural Fairness Letter (PFL). If the allegations are set out in a PFL, the foreign national will be given a specific amount of time to respond on paper or in very limited circumstances by interview.
Where the application was made outside of Canada, the foreign national or permanent resident must provide a response to the Visa Officer who identified the potential misrepresentation. The Visa Officer will then assess these submissions and make a final decision. If the finding of misrepresentation stands, then the applicant will receive a 5-year bar on re-application. Comparatively, if the foreign national or permanent resident makes the application from within Canada, then they must address their reply to IRCC (or at times the CBSA). If after reviewing these submissions the officer continues to believe that the foreign national or permanent resident has misrepresented themselves, they could be required to attend an interview with IRCC or the CBSA, followed in certain circumstances by a hearing before the Immigration Division, where a removal order may be issued. Permanent residents may in some cases appeal this removal order to the IAD. Everyone else can challenge the removal order at the Federal Court. The 5-year bar will commence once the foreign national or permanent resident is removed from Canada.
How can Bellissimo Law Group PC help?
Misrepresentation findings will have a significant impact on all future interactions with IRCC and the CBSA as well as Employment Development and Skills Canada (ESDC). It is therefore very important to carefully address these allegations, with the help of experienced counsel. At Bellissimo Law Group PC we have assisted our clients in handling misrepresentation allegations in a multitude of ways, including first by working carefully and diligently to ensure consistency on applications in order to pre-emptively avoid the possibility of misrepresentation. If an allegation of misrepresentation has already been raised by IRCC, however, we can still assist, including by investigating possible defences, such as the absence of a misrepresentation, an innocent error exception or materiality. Finally, where an inadmissibility decision has been made by the IRCC or the CBSA, then Bellissimo Law Group PC can assist with challenging this decision. Bellissimo Law Group PC has significant experience representing our clients at all levels of the process and are responsible for some of the leading cases in the law. This included working on allegations of misrepresentation, at the Immigration Division, the Immigration Appeal Division, and the Federal Court. Please review our testimonials to see what our clients say who have worked with Bellissimo Law Group PC on immigration misrepresentation cases. Misrepresentation cases can be strongly complex and we recommend you obtain representation.