MISREPRESENTATION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES IN THE CANADIAN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
Misrepresentation occurs when a foreign national or permanent resident withholds material facts either directly or indirectly relating to a relevant matter, which if known, would induce or which could induce an error in the administration of the Immigration Act.
Direct misrepresentation happens in situations where the person withholds information himself on his application or orally. For e.g. if the individual is at the Port of Entry and is asked a question if he was charged or convicted with any criminal offense. If he says No, and a check is done by the examining officer and it reveals that the individual has a criminal conviction this is a case of direct misrepresentation.
This is a situation where a third party withholds information on the individual’s behalf. This can be the individual’s representative, or agent or even a relative of the individual. By providing false information on the individual’s application without the applicant not knowing of this situation, is a form of indirect misrepresentation. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check his application before signing it, as he is the one who will be held accountable for any false information or inaccuracies on his application form.
Misrepresentation can occur outside of Canada, Port of Entry or in Canada. It does not have to be willful, or intentional, it can also be unintentional for the applicant to be found inadmissible under section A40(1a) of the Immigration Act.
It is, therefore, necessary for individuals to exercise due diligence in their application process and ensure that there are no inaccuracies, false information or missing information prior to signing their forms. It is also important to note that if you are being examined at a port of entry by an Immigration Officer, or at a Visa Office abroad, you must be truthful with all questions asked in your application or at an oral interview.
If, however, you are determined to be inadmissible for misrepresentation, you could be faced with a situation where you are barred for five years before you are allowed to resubmit another application for permanent resident status or re-entry application to Canada. It is also important to note, that prior to being reported under the Immigration Act for the inadmissibility, the individual is usually issued a letter to explain why he should not be reported under the Immigration Act.
This is providing the individual with an opportunity to explain in detail how this situation occurred and why it occurred. The individual has to present all information truthfully to the best of his knowledge and provide evidence if possible that will convince the officer that he should be not reported for this inadmissibility. If a well-presented case is submitted with supporting documents, the changes are great that the individual may overcome the inadmissibility.
Phyllis Ramkumar is currently a Registered Immigration Consultant with Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. Prior to her role as an Immigration Consultant, she was a former Senior Immigration Officer with the Department of Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada.
For more information please call Mrs. Phyllis Ramkumar @ 647-822-7495