Processing procedures determining admissibility: Examples of misrepresentation in the refugee context

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

An applicant fails to disclose that they recently applied for a visa to Canada.

This is not material in the refugee context because they have been found to be a refugee and, once accepted for resettlement, the number of applications they may have submitted is irrelevant.

An applicant fails to disclose a criminal record, and it is later discovered that they are inadmissible under the criminality provisions.

This may be grounds for an application for vacation of their status.

An applicant for a visa fails to disclose the existence of dependants, even if the dependants could satisfy the requirements of the Act.

The requirement for the refugee applicant to disclose the existence of dependants is only required if the applicant wishes the dependants to be considered under the One-Year Window of Opportunity. Generally, the principle governing this as an example of misrepresentation in other immigration programs is not applicable in the refugee context. However, if the applicant does not declare a dependant, R119(7)(d) ineligibility still applies. 

An applicant fails to disclose that they were previously issued a removal order in Canada, even if they would not require consent to return.

If the applicant for resettlement has been removed from Canada, it is unlikely that they would have a credible “refugee story”. If they do manage to mislead the officer, there would be grounds for an application for vacation of their status once the true facts were revealed.

An applicant includes a nephew in their application and lists this person as a son.

This may be a genuine mistake rather than misrepresentation. The cultural context may find this type of “error” acceptable if the child is in a de facto relationship with the applicant. In the refugee context, de facto relationships are more common and the applicant may be afraid that revealing the true relationship may penalize them in some way.

An applicant misrepresents the age of a dependant who could otherwise not be included in the application.

Again, in the refugee context, this may be an error that stems from a misunderstanding of the process. In addition, documentation may be difficult to obtain. The guiding principle of family reunification would prevail in this situation and the officer would probably be flexible in facilitating the resettlement of the overage dependant. Keep in mind that the overage dependant may also be a refugee in his or her own right.

Misrepresentation and the One-Year Window

The One-Year Window is the only refugee program that provides derivative status to the non‑accompanying family members. A42 deals with the inadmissibility of family members, however protected persons (in Canada) are exempted. It should be noted that, if family members gain permanent residence status based on the status of the PA and the PA’s protection is vacated, then the family’s status could be vacated as well.

For more information, refer to the related enforcement guidance.

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