The news of over 700 Indian students receiving deportation notices from the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) is undoubtedly distressing for the affected individuals and their loved ones. These students had applied for study permits through an agent, Brijesh Mishra, and trusted him to handle their applications with integrity.
Despite paying between Rs 16 to Rs 20 lakh, including admission fees to a reputable institution like Humber College, the students were shocked to learn upon arrival in Toronto that the courses they had been admitted to were full. Mishra then helped them gain admission to a lesser-known college, where they completed their courses and obtained work permits. Unfortunately, when they attempted to apply for permanent residency, their admission offer letters were found to be fake.
The submission of fake documents at any stage of the immigration process prior to becoming a permanent resident can result in the refusal of the permanent residence application and a finding of misrepresentation. In other words, if someone took the standard Study Permit > Post Graduate Work Permit > Canadian Experience Class PR pipeline in order to become a permanent resident, their PR application can be refused if they lied on their study permit to initially come to Canada. Further, a lie of omission is still a lie – even if information which would have made the applicant inadmissible at the study permit stage were simply left out of the study permit application, this could cause the refusal of the PR application.
It is unclear what the final outcomes of the former students’ PR applications are at this point. It’s understandable that these students and their families are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what their next steps should be. The situation is further complicated by the fact that CBSA officials have been unable to prove that agent Mishra was responsible for the fake documents. Additionally, the Canadian visa and airport authorities failed to identify the fake documents before granting visas and allowing entry into the country.
What is misrepresentation?
Misrepresentation is defined by law in section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA):
40 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible for misrepresentation
(a) for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of this Act;
- (b) for being or having been sponsored by a person who is determined to be inadmissible for misrepresentation;
- (c) on a final determination to vacate a decision to allow their claim for refugee protection or application for protection; or
- (d) on ceasing to be a citizen under
(i) paragraph 10(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, as it read immediately before the coming into force of section 8 of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, in the circumstances set out in subsection 10(2) of the Citizenship Act, as it read immediately before that coming into force,
(ii) subsection 10(1) of the Citizenship Act, in the circumstances set out in section 10.2 of that Act, or
(iii) subsection 10.1(3) of the Citizenship Act, in the circumstances set out in section 10.2 of that Act.
Misrepresentation or document fraud is a serious crime. The punishment for misrepresentation is the applicant becomes inadmissible to Canada for a period of 5 years after the finding of misrepresentation by an immigration officer per section 40(1) of IRPA. During this period, the applicant is ineligible to apply for PR in Canada under any circumstances and must obtain special permission called an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) in order to be issued any type of visa.
- Misrepresentation involves providing false information or documents to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Misrepresentations can be innocent or intentional.
- Innocent misrepresentations occur when a person makes a statement that they believe to be true, but which is later discovered to be inaccurate.
- Even if a misrepresentation is made accidentally, a person may still be considered inadmissible to Canada.
- Inadmissibility can result in being asked to leave Canada.
- Relevant and material misrepresentations can have significant consequences for both the person making the misrepresentation and the party relying on it.
Any person who is party to an application could misrepresent:
- the applicant, by not declaring a family member, for example
- a family member, by not declaring that they have previously been arrested by the police, for example
- The applicant’s immigration consultant or lawyer, by omitting information that would make the applicant ineligible to apply, for example
- or anyone assisting the applicant in the application process, by not naming themselves as a representative as they are legally required to do
Do you think you may have misrepresented to IRCC?
If you submitted an immigration application to IRCC and believe that you may have misrepresented, you may still be able to salvage the application by updating IRCC with the correct information. If IRCC intends to refuse a PR application, they will send a procedural fairness letter first to give the applicant the opportunity to address the officer’s concerns.
If the application has already been decided, note that consequences can be applied for misrepresentation, such as having PR status or even Canadian citizenship revoked.
Contact Us if you think you may have misrepresented to IRCC or need help responding to your Procedural Fairness Letter.
We hope that the affected students receive the help and guidance they need to navigate this situation successfully. With the right support and resources, we are confident that they will be able to overcome this setback and move forward with their dreams and aspirations.