Misrepresentation occurs when information provided to the IRCC to process your visa is incorrect (Including omissions, inaccurate or incomplete) and lead to misapplication of the Act.

This is a serious offence and could cause you to be found inadmissible to Canada. What’s more, you could be banned from entering Canada for 5 years, or even receive a criminal record for fraud – though the latter is more rare. More on that later in the article.

​But how does misrepresentation happen? By now you should know that you should take great care to ensure the information on any official visa application document is completed with the highest degree of truth and accuracy. Be it errors, omissions, or actual mistruths the following examples will almost certainly lead to a case of misrepresentation:

  • You fail to declare that you have been denied a visa or admission into another country;
  • You fail to declare that you have been removed from another country
  • You provide false or altered documents such a diploma or record of employment;
  • You omit a dependent family member;
  • You claim work experience that you do not have;
  • You engage in a non-genuine marriage to gain permanent residence;

It’s important to know that you are not the only person who could cause your application to contain a misrepresentation. Even your immigration representative or a family member assisting you on your application could make an omission or provide incorrect information, causing you to be found guilty of misrepresentation. Remember, this is your immigration application and above all, you are responsible to ensure the information you provide are correct, accurate and complete.

What are the consequences of being found guilty of misrepresentation?

Misrepresentation is a serious offence. It is fraud and is considered a crime. You could be:

  • Banned from entering Canada for at least 5 years, unless you obtain Authorization to Return to Canada.
  • Stripped of your status as a permanent resident or Canadian citizenship
  • Removed from Canada.
  • Charged with a crime

Even after the expiration of the 5-year period, your misrepresentation would remain in file and could impact future applications – particularly applications for temporary visas.

What can you do if you are facing an allegation of misrepresentation?

​Before you can be found to have misrepresented yourself to Canadian authorities, you will be given the chance to respond to any allegations made by the IRCC. This is known as “Procedural Fairness”. You will be given a window of time within which you need to respond to the IRCC during an interview or in writing.

Misrepresentation findings will have a significant impact on your immigration status to Canada. As mentioned, you could face any of the penalties listed above. Not only that, all the family members on your application will be equally inadmissible or otherwise banned from entering Canada.

If you are in a position where the IRCC has some concerns about your application and you have a Procedural Fairness Letter, it’s best to seek professional help from a law firm to ensure that you have the best chance of not being found inadmissible into the country. A proper legal representative will understand the gravity of the situation and how best to respond to the allegations. This will give you the best chance of success in this serious matter.