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While applying for an immigration visa, work permit, or study permit, you must answer many questions and submit several documents. It is a long-drawn process vital for establishing your eligibility to migrate and settle in Canada. It is critically important that you answer all the questions honestly and submit the right documents. Any attempt to provide wrong answers or hide information deliberately can have serious repercussions.

Providing wrong information consciously and on purpose to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) constitutes misrepresentation. It is a serious crime and can affect your immigration prospects severely.

Some of the common frauds or alterations are noticed in:

  • Travel documents
  • Passport
  • Visas
  • Qualification documents such as degrees, diploma certificates
  • Birth certificates, annulment, separation papers
  • Police certificates
  • Trade papers

Apart from submitting false documents, it is also a crime to provide wrong/incorrect information during an interview with an IRCC officer. Submitting false information and documents can result in the IRCC refusing to process your application. They may also do the following:

  • Forbid you from entering Canada for a minimum of five years
  • Mark a record of fraud with IRCC
  • Remove your status as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Charge you with a crime
  • Get you removed from the country

The Steps Taken By IRCC to Prevent Misrepresentation

The IRCC works in close coordination with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Foreign Services, and other government offices responsible for issuing identity and status documents.

They work with some of these agencies to analyze and review data such as fingerprints to corroborate a person’s identity through biometrics. This helps reduce the instances of identity fraud.

Inadmissibility Because Of Misrepresentation

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) takes a stringent view of any attempt at misrepresentation. Section 40 of the IRPA states that any permanent resident or a foreign national will be inadmissible to Canada for a period of five years if they commit misrepresentation. Their application will also be rejected. Permanent residents can lose their status and will be reverted to foreign nationals if they indulge in misrepresentation.

This section does not apply to Canadian citizens. However, they can lose their citizenship status under section 10 of the Citizenship Act if the misrepresentation occurred when applying for permanent residence or citizenship.

Persons who have indulged in the act of misrepresentation within the country may be served with a removal order.  They may also receive an Exclusion order that bans them from entering Canada for 60 months.

Other Serious Consequences of Misrepresentation

The IRPA rules that any person indulging in misrepresentation will be committing a serious offense. Any act such as holding back information, altering facts intentionally, and refusing to answer the queries posed by the concerned officers can be viewed as misrepresentation. Even those who help the applicant in misrepresentation are seen as committing an offense.

Penalty for Misrepresentation:

A specific section of the IRPA states that actions falling under those acts can result in varying levels of penalty and punishment. If you are found guilty of misrepresentation, you may face imprisonment up to five years, a fine of up to CAD 100,000, or a combination of both. The law is equal for all regardless of the status of citizenship in Canada. It automatically means that you are not immune from imprisonment or penalty even if you are a Canadian citizen and have indulged in misrepresentation.

You also lose the right to appeal the decision of the officer. However, others in sponsorship applications, such as spouses and common-law partners, can appeal.

What Are The Options Available 

You can exercise the following options if you are facing allegations of misrepresentation in Canada:

  • Be honest during the interrogation process and express your remorse. It can help mitigate the situation
  • If you feel you are being wrongly charged for misrepresentation, submit relevant documents to prevent consequences.
  • Go for a judicial review by challenging the decision in the Federal Court
  • If you have received an Exclusion Order, you can apply for authorization to return to Canada
  • You can apply for a TRP or a Temporary Resident Permit that will allow you to come back to Canada for a limited time

It is essential to understand the importance of presenting facts and truths in your application. Do not hide any material facts, however insignificant they may seem, from the immigration/border services officers. The consequences of such acts can be enormous. Remember, every piece of information sought in the form is a checklist of facts. In some cases, the authorities may view a genuine human mistake as misrepresentation. You must communicate with the officer and convince them that you did not misrepresent to avoid a penalty or punishment.

ASI Immigration is a reputed name in immigration consultancy services in Canada. We have been providing highly valuable solutions to our clients looking to migrate to Canada. If you face any problems getting approved for Canadian immigration on account of misrepresentation or other reasons, contact us now. We will review your documents and information and provide you with the right solutions.

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