The Federal Court has affirmed the reasonableness of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC“) decision to declare a Buddhist priest inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation. The consequence of being declared inadmissible to Canada is a two-year ban on entering Canada.
The priest, who at the time of the decision lived in Toronto, filed an application for permanent residency with CIC in 2009. On his Schedule 1 Background Declaration form, the priest answered as follows:
The priest ticked NO to bullet points 2 and 3 despite having applied for numerous temporary resident visas in the past. While most of these were approved, one of them was rejected.
CIC determined that the priest’s misstatement was material enough to result in the priest being inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation.
The decision did not address whether a misrepresentation finding would have been reasonable if the priest had never been refused a visa. In other words, if the priest had merely not disclosed that he had previously applied for temporary resident visas which were all approved, would a misrepresentation finding still be reasonable?
It may be that we never learn the answer. To those readers who have recently filed permanent residency and are thinking “I don’t remember being asked this question and I checked NO to all the boxes in the Schedule 1..” don’t worry. CIC recently changed the Schedule 1 Background Declaration form. It now only asks if applicants have previously been refused a visa.