What Are the Immigraton Red Flags?

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi, my name is Michael Niren and I’m an immigration lawyer and founder
of Recently, there was an article in the Toronto Star about
the inner workings of immigration and what red flags officers consider to
be of concern that result in possible refusals of cases. And it’s very
interesting because for years, we’ve been processing immigration cases. And
we kind of know what fact situations will result in some concerns by the
officers when they process cases.

Potential Immigration Red Flags

But there was a study by a professor at McMaster University, who was
granted access into the processing departments of Canada immigration. And
he found a few red flags or concerns that officers typically have. And so,
I’m going to list them for you. It’s pretty interesting.

Applying From a Poor or Corrupt Country

One is if you apply for a visitor visa from a poor country or a country
where there is a lot of fraud, it’s common sense that that application will
likely be heavily scrutinized. And it could be any type of visa. So if
you’re applying for a visa from a country where there’s concerns and
there’s issues, even though your case may be  very, very clean, a very good
case, you may be subject to a higher level of scrutiny.

Marital Sponsorship for Couples with Age Gap

Another red flag is in the sponsorship area. If the applicant and the sponsor, there’s as large
age gap between them, that’s going to cause some concern on the part of an
immigration officer. And we know that.

Lack of Familiarity Between an Engaged Couple

Also, if they don’t know about each other very well, they can’t answer questions about their lifestyles and details about themselves, that could also raise a red flag.

Number of Guests Invited to the Wedding

Another interesting point that was raised in the article was the number of
people at the wedding. In some cultures,  you know that there are hundreds
and hundreds and hundreds of people, typically, at these weddings. For
example, in the Indian culture, they tend to have very large weddings. So
in cases where the cultural norm is to have a lot of people at the wedding,
and an application is processed where there’s not very many people, that
could raise some issues on the part of the officer who thinks that there
could be something strange going on.

Over-done Love Letters

Another interesting point was love letters.When you file an application for sponsorship, you typically show that the couple generally cares about each other. They love each other. And
sometimes you can show some letters of affection between the couple. If
it’s overdone, it was argued that if there’s too much of it, the officer
may think it’s being manufactured and it’s not genuine. So that’s a really
interesting finding. So, if you’re going to submit love letters, don’t go

The Timing of the Visa Application

Another point was the timing of the application. For example, if an applicant is in Canada already, and is facing immigration removal, the process of deportation issued against that person,
and then they subsequently get married and file a sponsorship. Well, it’s
common sense that an officer will be very skeptical about that. The timing
is very suspicious. So those are some of the red flags. We know about those
red flags. And also you should know that just because your case may be of

Red Flags Does Not Mean Refusal

For example, if you didn’t have a lot of people at your wedding or that
there is a big age gap between you and you spouse, it doesn’t mean that
your application is going to be refused. What it does mean is that you
should address it head on well before an officer starts questioning it. So
this way you can explain the unusual circumstances. And then in most cases,
that should alleviate the concern of the officer.

Do You Need Help with Immigrating Into Canada?

If you need any more information or you have some questions, feel free to
go to our website at Thank you and have…

Contact our experienced team today, and let us help you with your Canadian immigration matters.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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