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Moses Law Office

Providing Canadian Immigration Services since 1988

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The purpose of this section is to give the reader further information on commonly committed errors by Applicants. Further detailed information can be obtained by contacting Marvin Moses Law Office.

Completeness of Documentation:

In any immigration application, completeness of documentation is critical at the time of application. One of the major reasons for return or refusal of applications, is lack of completeness. Applications must contain adequate verifiable documentation supporting the facts stated in the application.

If the Applicant claims to have a relative in Canada who is a Permanent Resident or Canadian Citizen, and the Applicant is making a skilled worker application and wants the points for having that relative in Canada, documentation must be provided to prove the relative is resident in Canada. If the applicant claims particular work experience, then adequate verifiable documentation must be presented with the application. We often see Applicants who have applied on their own or through another counsel, and who have failed to provide adequate verifiable proof of prior work experience.

In spousal cases, a common error is to submit an offshore spousal without the required confirmation of medical exam of person being sponsored. In order to obtain what Immigration calls “priority processing”, a medical exam must be presented at the time of initial application.

In the case of a federal skilled worker application, a language test result from an approved language tester must be submitted at the time of the application.

Applicants are often in a rush to submit their application and believe they can just file the application “as is” and then send at a later time a currently unavailable required document. This not only causes delay in the processing of the application, but also may result in failure. Immigration considers it the responsibility of the Applicant to provide a complete application at the start.

In addition, Applicants often believe that a summarization of the information is adequate. This is erroneous. An Applicant must provide a detailed history, whether it be of residence, work history, or education, or financial assets. We often encounter cases where the applicant has in the interest of speed, provided only a summary. Immigration does not know that it is not complete and upon learning later that the information is not complete, Immigration may proceed to refuse the application on the basis of misrepresentation, in that all material facts were not disclosed at the start.

Failure to provide complete and verifiable information may lead to delays and/or failure of the application.

Failure to Provide Regular Updates:

In certain immigration applications, such as Humanitarian applications, it is the responsibility of the Applicant to regularly provide updated information and documentation. Immigration may not contact the Applicant prior making a determination on the application.

Failure to provide regular updates may lead to delays and/or failure of the application.

Failure to Provide Material Updates:

In any immigration application, it is the Applicant’s responsibility to provide information and/or documentation relating to material changes in the Applicant’s situation, after the initial submission of the application.

We often encounter applicants who fail to disclose a change in marital status or change in family composition (such as birth of child) that occurred after submission of the application. Sometimes it is an honest mistake made out of ignorance of Immigration’s expectations, and sometimes it is deliberate to avoid delays in processing.

Non-disclosure of material changes in situation will not only likely result in refusal of the application but may also lead to a charge of misrepresentation and a bar on making a future application for a period of time designated by Immigration legislation. For a permanent resident, it could also lead to action initiated by Immigration to remove the status of the permanent resident.

An applicant must update Immigration on a change in contact information. If Immigration tries to contact the applicant and fails, Immigration will refuse the application.

An applicant must also update Immigration on any criminal charges or serious health issues that arise during the processing of the application.

Failure to provide material updates with the accompanying verifiable documentation may lead to delays and/or failure of the application.

Failure to Review Application Before Submission:

In any immigration application, the Applicant must ensure that a complete review has been done of all materials to ensure accuracy of content and completeness of materials.

We often encounter cases where the Applicant erroneously misstates key data. When the Applicant then tries to correct the error, Immigration may not always accept the explanation.

We also often hear immigration officers complain of applications being sent without the application fee or the incorrect application fee.

Careless errors result in delay and possible failure of the application.

Failure to review the application before submission may lead to delays and/or failure of the application.

Failure to Prepare for an Interview:

In any immigration application, where an interview is convoked by Immigration, the Applicant must ensure proper preparation prior attendance.

We often see spousal cases where the Sponsor and spouse adamantly claim the genuineness of their marriage and do not understand why the application was refused. A review of the computer file clearly shows that the spouse being interviewed did not have proper preparation. The spouse did not have any clue as to what would be asked nor how to present the response.

We also often see business immigration applications where the Applicant did not properly review and prepare for the interview. A review of Immigration’s file often clearly shows that the Applicant was not familiar with the business materials presented in support of the application. Often in business cases, the Applicant delegates the preparation of financial reports to an accountant and trusts the accountant to prepare the documentation without the Applicant’s input. At the interview, without proper preparation, the Applicant is often unable to present a consistent financial picture of the Applicant’s business. In some cases, where the Applicant delegates all but senior decision-making, the Applicant cannot even describe the day-to-day operations of the business. This is expected at a business immigration interview.

As noted above, failure may occur as a result of improper preparation for an interview. Sufficient preparation is very important. I have had Applicants come to me days before a scheduled immigration interview in a state of panic over the interview. The Applicants in these cases did their cases without a lawyer’s assistance and grew worried as the interview approached. Depending on the application, the interview itself can be as short as five minutes, or as long as several hours. In one case, a skilled worker application, the Applicant had sufficient points but due to the political situation in the home country, had conflicting places of birth on the birth certificate, the passport and the graduation certificate as well as conflicting nationalities on the prior and current passports. With proper preparation, the Applicant was in and out of the interview in five minutes with an immediate acceptance from the officer at the interview. The Applicant required four hours of preparation to reduce the panic and to allow the Applicant, in the Applicant’s own words to be able to express to immigration the reasons for the discrepancies on the birth location. When I first met the Applicant it took the Applicant an hour to explain what should have taken literally two minutes. Immigration officers are often too busy to allow a person the liberty of an hour to explain things. In another case, a spousal interview, the Applicant initially could not explain the key characteristics that made the Applicant decide to marry the spouse, nor could the Applicant explain the courtship period in a direct complete manner. With our assistance, the Applicant could express a strong answer in a clear precise and concise manner, leading to a positive outcome. An unprepared person may not be given the liberty of time to explain discrepancies in the documentation, nor a second chance to provide greater detail initially omitted in a response.

If the skilled worker Applicant referred to above, had had proper preparation of documents and proper explanation made at the time of submission of the application, the interview would have been waived and the acceptance would have been received three months earlier and the Applicant would not have had to go through the panic that resulted in anticipation of the interview. It cannot be stressed the importance of preparation and of proper legal advice. Attempts to save a few dollars at the start can cost an Applicant the chance to immigrate to Canada.

I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of involving an experienced immigration lawyer in cases where a permanent resident is facing an interview convoked over alleged misrepresentation and/or inadmissibility. Often, a permanent resident will contact us after the interview; by then the refusal has been issued and the Applicant is seeking to determine the chances on an appeal. With the permanent residence at risk of being lost, Applicants should never attend such interviews without prior consultation and guidance and involvement of an experienced immigration lawyer.

Failure to properly review materials submitted as part of an immigration application and failure to properly prepare before an immigration interview, may lead to delays and/or failure of the application.


The above points are samples of what may go wrong where an Applicant does not properly complete the application and/or does not properly present required documentation and/or information requested by Immigration. In some cases delay will occur, in others refusal of application. In the more extreme case, where an application is being made by a Permanent Resident, such as a Permanent Resident Card renewal application, improper attention to detail and/or inadequate provision of documentation and information, may lead not only to failure but also Immigration seeking to question the Applicant’s immigration status.

Despite what Immigration and others may tell you, an Immigration application should be done only through the assistance of a professional, an experienced immigration lawyer. Anyone can fill a form, but only a professional experienced immigration lawyer can properly guide an Applicant successfully through the process. Although the process may appear easy, in the cases where errors are made, the Applicant may lose the right to immigrate or remain in Canada. Appeal processes do exist, but the process can be lengthy and even more costly than what it would have cost to hire a professional experienced immigration lawyer from the start.

It is often assumed that the immigration process is not complicated. For some Applicants the obstacles are few and outside aid is not required, but these are not the majority. I often receive many calls and letters inquiring into the chances of success, and seeking advice. However, these quick answers will not prevent the Applicant from falling into other pitfalls along the way. Guidance throughout the process is required for most Applicants.

The immigration system is constantly changing, and new rules and policies are often being formulated and implemented. Processing times at various Canadian visa posts keep changing depending on the caseloads at any given time.

Applicants must know what they face and a skilled professional experienced immigration lawyer is the one best to be able to guide them along the road to successful immigration to Canada. The use of a skilled lawyer does not guarantee success; no one can make such a guarantee and be telling the applicant the truth. However, the use of a lawyer may help the Applicant avoid some of the above-mentioned pitfalls and others that may appear along the way.

For further information please contact Marvin Moses Law Office.

(Since the issues and matters in reality are quite complex, it is recommended that legal or other appropriate professional advice should be sought before acting upon any of the information contained therein. Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, no individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this article accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents or for any consequences arising from its use.)