There is perhaps no immigration issue more challenging to grapple with than misrepresentation.
When people ask what is the most serious immigration infraction, they expect to hear “working illegally, living underground without status, or being deported”.
But actually it is the consequences for misrepresentation.
The Immigration Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) sets out the criteria for misrepresentation as well as the penalties which are significant and can include loss of status, permanent separation from family members, fines and even jail time.
Furthermore the trend in the past few years for Canada Immigration is a zero tolerance policy towards misrepresentation with penalties likely to increase.
If you or somebody acting on your behalf directly or indirectly submits false information, false documents, or misrepresents facts relating to any aspect of your application, your application may be refused, you can become ineligible to submit an application for any immigration process for a period of 2 years and a permanent resident can lose their permanent resident status after the fact for finding of a misrepresentation.
An indicator of how seriously the Minister of Immigration considers misrepresentation is found in Bill C-43, proposed new legislation entitled, “The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act.”
It is very telling that legislation pertaining to criminals also applies to permanent residents who are found to have been dishonest.
Misrepresentation is likened to criminal behaviour!
This legislation seeks to increase the period from 2 years to 5 years that a foreign national continues to be inadmissible for misrepresentation.
If passed, this will mean that a person can’t even apply to come to Canada for a period of 5 years!
Section 40 of IRPA also provides that misrepresentation includes the withholding of information. Withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter whether or not the question has directly put to you can result in a finding of misrepresentation.
What are the types of things that people fail to disclose?
Criminal convictions, children from previous relationships, spousal relationships and employment are some examples. The circumstances are really endless.
An immigration advisor whether a lawyer or an immigration consultant can be subject to criminal conviction for counseling misrepresentation.
If your immigration representative advises you to include inaccurate information on you application, stop working with them immediately!
The penalties for misrepresentation can be severe.
A person can face a fine of up to $100,000 fine or imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years in prison.
Failure to disclose the existence of family members at the time of a permanent resident application results in a permanent bar to ever being able to bring your family members to Canada.
You can also reach her at (604)-628-2860