People seeking immigration to Canada under Express Entry (or “EE”) must first lodge a profile with Canada’s immigration department.  That profile entails having proof of language ability (e.g. for proof of English ability, an IELTS), and in many cases, proof of equivalency in educational credentials (or educational credential assessment or ECA) if you have gone to school outside of Canada.  You must have the IELTS and the ECA results at the time of composing your online profile for EE, and you must faithfully input those results into the EE profile.

There is a CIC website warning stating:

If we find that you misrepresented yourself (gave us false information or left out important details), we will refuse your application. In that case:

  • your application could be refused,
  • you could be found inadmissible, and
  • you could be barred for five years from applying to come to Canada for any reason.

Leaving out important details (or omitting a fact) may, for a particularly prickly immigration officer, may include something innocuous like failing to disclose some aspect of job history, such as a previous job, a more junior position at the same place of employment, etc.  At the very least, such an omission may cast doubt about whether or not the work experience you have acquired comports with the National Occupational Classification code you have listed on your EE profile.  In this latter situation you may not be ‘misrepped’, but rather simply refused.

Theoretically, misrepresentation may be legally untenable. The issue may be whether there can  logically be a  finding of misrepresentation in an Express Entry online profile when a profile, in fact, is not an application per se; no fee is taken when uploading an Express Entry profile and no application is deemed to be received by Canada’s immigration department.  Rather, the application process starts with the Invitation To Apply (or “ITA”), where the immigration department, based on reviewing the EE profile, invites an applicant to submit a complete application within 60 days.

CIC may take the view that the ITA would not have been issued but for the falsely-based EE profile and, that the EE is effectively a summary of an application that would be lodged after being issued an ITA.   However, previous case law has stated that an application is ‘locked-in’ as of the date of an application and required fee have been submitted.

An (old) Immigration Manual from 1999 states:

  • PAQ’s are only preliminary assessments. They are not affected by lock-in factors associated with those processes for which processing fees are collected. The resulting assessment is not binding on the applicant or Citizenship and Immigration.

The above excerpt refers to a PAQ or Preliminary Application Questionnaire, a roughly analogous stage of processing to an EE profile (analogous in that there is no fee paid, and there is no promise to process an application by CIC).

This issue may be resolved when the Federal Court disposes of a case where a person placed an EE profile and was given an ITA but was subsequently refused by CIC on the basis of an application that did not cohere in a material way with the EE profile. Nevertheless, as I have written previously in this blog, the advantages of being a test case are meagre; make sure that you are submitting precise and accurate information. Consider hiring an experienced immigration lawyer to help you complete the profile.

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