How to overcome inadmissibility due to misrepresentation in Canada

When you are applying for a visa, work permit, or study permit, you will be required to fill out an application form, in the form, you will provide information about yourself, and you will also be required to provide documents to support the information you provided in your form.


You will provide information about your:

  • Identity – your name, date of birth, country of origin, state, etc.
  • Marital status – single or married
  • Mission in Canada – what you are coming into the country to do and many others

All these help the visa officers to know you, understand what your reasons are for coming to Canada, what you will do while in the country, and when you plan to leave the country.

If when filling out your form, you intentionally provide false information or withhold a piece of information that can affect the outcome of your application, you have misrepresented.

When you misrepresent it means that you knowingly directly or indirectly either withhold material facts (these are materials that can affect the decision of the visa officer on your application) or make alterations or somehow create fraudulent material to receive the decision that you’re hoping to receive.

It is also misrepresentation when you make changes to your information so the officers makes mistakes when they decide on your application.

The most important aspect of misrepresentation is that you knowingly did it, it doesn’t matter whether you did it directly (by yourself) or indirectly, when you hire somebody to misrepresent on your behalf, you are still misrepresenting.

What are the consequences of misrepresenting?

In Canada, the punishment for misrepresentation is clear according to the law, under Section 40 of the Immigration Act, when you misrepresent you become inadmissible to Canada for 60 months.

This means that if you are inside Canada then the authorities will remove you from the country. You will be issued an Exclusion Order which does not allow you to come back to Canada for 60 months.

If you are outside Canada the day you receive a negative response from the authorities, you will automatically become inadmissible to Canada for 60 months.

How to overcome inadmissibility due to misrepresentation in Canada

One of the easiest ways to overcome inadmissibility due to misrepresentation in Canada is to stop it before it happens.

  • Use the grace period properly

When the immigration officers suspect that you are misrepresenting, they will send you a letter called the procedural fairness letter, which can be sent through email.

When you receive the email, the officers will allow you a period usually 30 to 60 days to respond to their concern.

This is the moment you are expected to convince the officer that you are not misrepresenting or that the misrepresentation did not happen knowingly.

If you convince the officer that either there is no misrepresentation or that it has not happened knowingly, then the officers may drop the misrepresentation.

They may still refuse your application but at least you won’t become inadmissible to Canada for 60 days.

So, what if you try to fight back to convince the immigration officers that you are not misrepresenting, you present all the evidence you have but they are not convinced so, they still pursue misrepresentation?

In that situation, you become inadmissible to Canada for 60 months, if you want to immigrate to Canada within that 60 months or if you want to travel or study or work in Canada, you will not be allowed because you are already inadmissible to Canada.

  • Request for a review

Aside from preventing inadmissibility, you have other alternative options. One of the alternative options is to hire a lawyer and fight for judicial review with the Federal Court of Canada.

The judicial review process will go through the federal court and if the federal court finds out that the officer made a mistake in terms of making you inadmissible to Canada then it will reopen your case and another immigration officer will review it to see if they actually can lift the misrepresentation.

  • Apply for a TRP

Another option you have is to apply for a temporary resident permit (TRP), even though you are currently inadmissible to Canada, if you have a genuine reason to go back to Canada such as if there is a medical or life-threatening situation.

You can apply for a temporary resident permit which will allow you to enter Canada.

In your TRP application, you need to convince the visa officers that there is a genuine reason for you to enter Canada, that is the only way your application will be approved.

  • Apply for ARK

This is also another option for you. If you have been removed from Canada or you have been issued an Exclusion order and you wish to enter Canada for a genuine reason then you need to apply for Ark or authorization to return to Canada.

You still need to show reasons why you deserve to enter Canada before your application will be approved.

Apply for PR under HMC

This is also an option, you can apply for permanent residency under humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

The only problem with this option is that your chances of succeeding with this application are very slim.

You will only succeed if you present convincing documents, then the visa officer may consider you and allow you to migrate to Canada even though you are inadmissible to Canada.

You can seek the assistance of a professional 

Another option you can explore is to seek the help of a professional, if you have already been refused because of misrepresentation but at that time you didn’t have representation or you didn’t know what to do.

You can hire a professional and ask them to negotiate with the immigration authorities.

The first thing the professional will do is to submit a request and they receive information about your case as to why the immigration officer concluded that you have misrepresented.

The professional can now put together a package and try to convince the immigration authorities to reconsider their decision.

The odds of you winning a reconsideration battle are extremely low but in some cases, it’s worth trying.

These options (we have listed here) are the only way allowed by Canadian laws that you can overcome inadmissibility due to misrepresentation.

Final words

If you are facing inadmissibility to Canada, your best bet in most cases is an application to return to Canada or an Ark if you have been removed from Canada.

If you were refused while you were outside Canada, applying for a temporary resident permit will be a great option.

It is also important for you to know that if your application is refused because of misrepresentation, you have no right to appeal that decision.

The only exception to this rule is when you sponsor your spouse or a child then you can appeal the decision to the immigration appeal division.

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