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    What to Do When You Receive
    a Procedural Fairness Letter?

    If you receive a procedural fairness letter in Ontario, it’s important to submit a detailed and accurate report that summarizes all the critical arguments of your case. A strong and well-thought argument can lead to a more favourable decision by the IRCC. Most people do not seek legal help when responding to a procedural fairness letter IRCC. Applicants who end up submitting a weak response often face a refusal. By working with a qualified immigration lawyer in Toronto, applicants can prepare a proper response that increases their chances of getting a positive outcome. It’s important to understand that there will be no other opportunity to respond after a refusal and this letter is a great chance to avoid some serious consequences that may come with a refusal such as being declared inadmissible to Canada or facing a 5-year ban if one is found guilty of misrepresentation. Speak to a professional after receiving a procedural fairness letter to assist in preparing a sufficient response.

    Tips when submitting a procedural fairness letter reply

    First and foremost, ensure you have a qualified legal advisor to represent you. Provide your lawyer with a copy of all relevant documents, including the fairness letter and a copy of your immigration file.  Your lawyer may suggest obtaining further documents to address the concerns of the immigration authorities.

    Procedural fairness letters usually have a specific format and it’s important for applicants to study and break down the letter to understand all areas addressed. The IRCC may allege misrepresentation if they have adequate evidence at that stage. As an applicant, you may need to request access to the information in your file which includes the electronic and physical notes of the immigration officer.

    Additionally, take time to understand the scope of the allegations in order to provide the materials needed to prove your case. For instance, if the letter states credibility concerns regarding previous employment, you need to provide documents that prove otherwise. There are many cases where the IRCC sends a procedural fairness letter because of the applicant’s mistake by excluding critical information or due to a misunderstanding of the specific requirements of the immigration authorities.

    ITA Checklist

    Procedural fairness letter misrepresentation

    If you receive a fairness letter alleging misrepresentation on your part, it is important to fully take advantage of the opportunity you receive to respond to the immigration officer’s concerns. Misrepresentation is a serious allegation that can result in the applicant being banned for five years from entering Canada. An applicant is found guilty of misrepresentation if it is proven that he or she provided information that is  fraudulent, inaccurate or misleading in the application, whether overtly or by omission. For instance, if you fail to mention a family member or forget to mention if you’ve been refused a visa for another country, this could be deemed as misrepresentation. Keep in mind that you may still be found at fault if the misrepresented information was presented by a family member or a representative without your knowledge. Misrepresentation claims should be carefully addressed and response should be submitted in a timely manner as any delays could have severe consequences. Once you receive a procedural fairness letter, seek legal help to prepare a detailed response that includes all the critical documents to prove your case.

    Procedural fairness letter proof of funds

    The IRCC requires applicants to have a certain amount of funds in order to immigrate to Canada. Settlement funds are necessary for immigrants who are moving to Canada to find employment. The IRCC believes that these funds will give the applicant time to settle in Canada without relying on social assistance or having to return home if they cannot afford to stay. The settlement funds must be readily available so should be in the form of cash in a bank account or investments that can be readily liquidated. You will need to provide a letter from your bank showing your account balances and deposit history for the past six months.  How much settlement funds you are required to provide will vary depending on the immediate family members immigrating with you. There are cases where you won’t need to have settlement funds. For instance, if you have arranged employment in Canada and you’re currently working in Canada, you don’t have to meet the financial requirements. Settlement funds must be unencumbered by debts.  If you have debts that negate the required amount of settlement funds, then your application could be refused on that basis.

    Procedural fairness letter processing time

    After the IRCC sends the procedural fairness letter, applicants will be given a set time limit to respond before the immigration authority renders the final decision. The letter should clearly identify the immigration officer’s concerns regarding your application and allow you to submit relevant information in response. It can take 30 days or longer to prepare responding information and your lawyer will advise on whether to ask for an extension of time to file a response. Feel free to ask for an extension because the IRCC is usually agreeable to granting an extension as part of the procedural fairness process. Responding to the allegations on day one or day thirty has no impact on the success of your application. When you submit your response, the officers will need to review the submission and render their final decision.  The immigration officer may arrange an in-person interview if he/she deems it necessary. The entire process can take several months before you receive a final decision. Every case is unique. Even though there are no specific requirement for responding to a procedural fairness letter, this is not a regular process and legal assistance is critical to increasing your chances of getting a successful outcome.
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