February 24, 2024

Is my social media activity monitored by IRCC?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) do review the information provided in an applicant’s submission and cross-reference it with their social media and public profiles. Any disparities between the details furnished in the application and those found online may serve as grounds for refusal.

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In a recent case in Canadian federal court, an individual applied for permanent residency as a skilled worker. The reviewing visa officer noted that the applicant omitted mentioning his association with a specific company in the application. However, the company’s website identified him as its Executive Chairman. Upon checking the applicant’s LinkedIn profile, it was indicated that he served on the company’s board.

Despite offering the applicant an opportunity to clarify the inconsistency, the officer determined the individual as inadmissible to Canada for material misrepresentation. The explanation provided by the applicant regarding the online information about his involvement with the company was deemed inadequate.

For Canadian immigration applicants, their online presence, or lack thereof, can serve as evidence of the accuracy or inaccuracy of their application.

The Significance of Avoiding Misrepresentation

A finding of misrepresentation is grave and challenging to overcome. Immigration officials rigorously address misrepresentation, which could lead to application rejection.

Misrepresentation on immigration applications can lead to severe repercussions beyond application refusal. According to IRCC, in response to falsified documents or information, IRCC may:

  • Bar entry into Canada for a minimum of 5 years;
  • Maintain a permanent record of fraud;
  • Revoke permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship;
  • Initiate criminal charges; or
  • Deport from Canada.

Immigration forms and applications often pose complexity and confusion. Despite an applicant’s cautiousness, innocent misrepresentations may occur. Unfortunately, innocence typically does not serve as a defense against misrepresentation.

Applicants must ensure the submission of entirely accurate and comprehensive information. It’s advisable to thoroughly review all details provided to ensure accuracy and consistency throughout the application.

The key to averting misrepresentation is disclosing all pertinent information, even if it may negatively impact the approval prospects. Addressing potential issues directly in the application and providing supporting documentation to explain them is preferable.

Furthermore, it’s crucial for applicants to promptly inform IRCC of any changes while their application is under processing. This includes personal updates such as marital status changes or alterations in employment or education. Failure to notify IRCC could lead to assumptions of misrepresentation.

Avoiding misrepresentation in immigration applications is vital for a successful process. Seeking professional assistance, such as consulting an immigration lawyer, is recommended as they can ensure the accuracy of the application and compliance with all legal requirements.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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