The Criminal Charges for failing to meet your Obligations as a permanent resident.

By Author: Admin | October 28, 2014

A person was charged withcriminal misrepresentation under IRPA as well as under the Citizenship Act for providing false information regarding his days in Canada when applying for a Permanent Resident (PR) card renewal application.  He was also lodging a Canadian citizenship application.(He had two passports, one for showing to border authorities outside of Canada and another one to present in support of his PR card and Canadian citizenship application).  He was caught with both passports on returning to Canada leading to criminal charges and also necessitating an appeal at the Immigration Refugee Board Appeal Division.

Committing Criminal representation under 124(1)(a) of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act can lead to a fine of $50,000, or jail time of two years.  It strikes me as double jeopardy to criminally charge a person for failing to be physically present in Canada for 730 days in a five year period, in addition to forcing losing Canadian permanent resident status.  It’s conceivable that a charge of criminal misrepresentation can also be lodged against persons whose use fake government documents in the context of trying to prove a marriage, i.e. criminal misrepresentation in a family class sponsorship.


This forces an accused person of defending charges at a criminal court in Canada, and also necessitates an appeal at the Immigration Refugee Board (Immigration Appeal Division).  This could lead to weird/inconsistent results if the IAD makes a finding that Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds should allow the accused to keep his permanent resident status, and on the identical facts, the criminal court makes a finding of criminal misrepresentation (thus rendering the person criminally inadmissible to Canada).



It would be preferable to only ‘write-up’ a person under s. 44 of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act and not also proceed criminally, despite the extra work this creates for Canadian immigration lawyers..

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