Has your immigration case been refused based on Misrepresentation?
Have you received a procedural fairness letter?
At Bellissimo Immigration 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. Amendments to the Immigration and RefugeProtection Act (IRPA) which came into force on 20 November 2014, increased the bar for inadmissibility from two to five years. Immigration misrepresentation findings carry significant consequences as a foreign national or permanent resident, as well as their family members, are barred for five years from making an application for permanent residence 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, but are not limited to:

  • 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 be not genuine or authentic;
  • Failure to mention a family member;
  • Failure to declare criminal history;
  • 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. It can be direct, or indirect. In all cases, it is the principal applicant who is at fault – even if they did not know the misrepresentation occurred.

Deciding misrepresentation

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 the response and make a final decision.

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 the response 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, which can be followed by the issuance of a Report on Inadmissibility under Section 44 of the IRPA, and 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 Immigration Appeal Division. Everyone else can challenge the removal order at the Federal Court.

Consequences of a misrepresentation finding

If an applicant is found inadmissible for misrepresentation in relation to an application made outside of Canada, they will remain inadmissible to Canada for a period of five years, during which they may not apply for permanent residence. In the case of an applicant found inadmissible for misrepresentation in relation to an application made inside of Canada, the same five-year bar applies, but commences once the applicant is removed from Canada.

These severe consequences can also impact the applicant’s family members. Individuals can be found inadmissible for having an inadmissible family member, whether the family member is accompanying them on the application or not, and where the individual is an accompanying family member of the inadmissible person. Specifically for misrepresentation, the inadmissibility and five-year bar extends to family members with respect to permanent residence only – meaning the family members of the inadmissible person may still apply or be eligible for temporary residence status in Canada.

How can Bellissimo Immigration 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 Immigration 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, materiality, or an innocent error exception.  Finally, where an inadmissibility decision has been made by the IRCC or the CBSA, then Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC can assist with challenging this decision. Bellissimo Immigration 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 Immigration Law Group PC on immigration misrepresentation cases.  Misrepresentation cases can be very complex and given the consequences of such findings are grave, we recommend you obtain representation.

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