“Honesty is the Best Policy” in Immigration Cases

Be honest on your Canadian immigration application form

One of the most important pieces of advice I could give to any client who walks through our door is the old adage, “honesty is the best policy”. Our clients overall are decent, honest people. However, there have been instances where a client does not disclose all the relevant information to his or her representative. The reasons for this vary, but regardless, withholding relevant and material information may pose problems not only for the lawyer who is working hard to complete an effective immigration application, but also for the client themselves. Further, providing false or misleading information on an application form will certainly lead to many difficulties and may even result in refusal of the application or worse, criminal prosecution.

In the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there are penalties imposed for failing to disclose material facts. And Canadian and US Immigration officials are trained to look for false documents and information in immigration applications. It is simply not worth the unnecessary risk.

How can you ensure an accurate Canadian immigration application form?

However, providing full disclosure in your application does not mean that you have to reveal “non-material” facts about your case. A qualified Immigration Lawyer should be able to advise you about what is relevant and what is not. In some cases, revealing too much, irrelevant information, whether you consider it relevant or not, may prejudice your immigration application form.

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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