How serious is misrepresentation or document fraud in Canada?

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Often people underestimate the outcome of misrepresentation when submitting documents to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to gain legal status or to apply for permanent residence or citizenship of Canada. As per CIC, misrepresentation or document fraud is defined as false information/documents submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Document fraud can involve either false or altered documents such as passports or travel documents, visas, diplomas/degrees, police clearance, birth/marriage/divorce certificates. Misrepresentation can have serious consequences. If a person lies on an application or in an interview with a CIC officer, he or she can be charged for a criminal offense.

Majority people who misrepresent the documents do it because they either don’t care about the outcome or they believe that no one gets caught. The reasoning to the latter is usually because someone they know has done it in the past and didn’t get caught. In most cases, they are recommended by unauthorized immigration consultant, also known as ‘ghost consultant’ to submit fake documents or to ‘arrange’ documents to make them eligible for a certain immigration program; for example, getting a fake experience under a skilled job to apply for permanent residence or work permit of Canada. In some cases, a prospective Canadian employer is also involved as he or she provides a job offer letter just for the purposes of immigration, however, the job does not exist. Applicants pay thousands of dollars to get these job offer letters to Canadian employer or ghost consultant. Applicants are given assurance or provided guarantee to get the visa approved by these ghost consultants. In most cases, the applicants do not receive their money back if the visa gets refused.

When CIC receives false documents or information, they refuse the application and may also:

  • Bar the applicant to enter Canada for at least 5 years, as per S 40(2)(a) of Immigration Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
  • Put a permanent record of fraud in their system
  • Take away the status of permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  • Charge with a criminal offense
  • Remove the applicant from Canada

There are no appeal rights for misrepresentation unlike other rejections.

CIC works with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and foreign police services and offices to monitor document fraud; they also train officers around the world. In 2012, government of Canada aimed to strip 3,100 Canadians of their citizenship for fraud as they provided fake proof of residency. Also, another 1,500 applicants “linked to investigations” have abandoned their citizenship applications. Dozens of charges were laid, mostly against immigration consultants accused of helping clients defraud the government. In 2014, government has revoked the citizenship of 22 people who obtained their citizenship through fraud or misrepresentation.

There are many legal ways to immigrate to Canada. A legal advice shall be retained by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or an immigration lawyer regarding any Canadian immigration matter.

Copyright 2015 Prateek Babbar, RCIC


Author disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general use only and does not constitute to any sort of legal consultation. Please note the info in this website is subject to change and should be consulted with a professional consultant or a government ministry before acting upon any information that may appear in this article. For any legal advice regarding specific case related to Canadian immigration matter, you can contact us at


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Prateek Babbar
Prateek Babbar RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant), is President of Settle Immigration Services Inc., immigration consultancy firm in Toronto. He is member of Finance and Audit Committee at Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), and Government Affairs Committee at Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce (RHCoC). Prateek completed his Immigration Consultant program from Humber College and graduated with Honors. He has gained significant experience working on various complex cases over the years.


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