Obligation to Answer Truthfully

Steven MeurrensUncategorized

Section 16 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states:

16 (1) A person who makes an application must answer truthfully all questions put to them for the purpose of the examination and must produce a visa and all relevant evidence and documents that the officer reasonably requires.

In other words, all applicants must provide truthful answers throughout the application process and produce all necessary documents and evidence as requested by the officer.

Purpose of the Law

The primary objective of s. 16(1) of the IRPA is to ensure the integrity and efficiency of the immigration process. By requiring applicants to answer questions truthfully and submit all relevant documents, immigration authorities can accurately assess each individual’s eligibility and admissibility.

This law serves multiple essential functions:

Verification of Identity and Claims: Truthful answers and relevant documents help verify an applicant’s identity and the authenticity of their claims. This is crucial in determining whether they meet the legal criteria for entering or residing in a country.

Security Measures: Ensuring that all provided information is accurate and complete allows immigration officials to perform thorough security checks.

Efficient Resource Allocation: When applicants provide complete and honest information, it streamlines the processing of their applications.

Implications for Applicants

For those applying for visas or immigration status, understanding the implications of IRPA s. 16(1) is critical. Non-compliance with this law can lead to several adverse outcomes:

Delays: Incomplete or false information can significantly delay the processing of an application as further investigation may be required to clarify the facts.

Denial of Application: If discrepancies or dishonesty are discovered, it could lead to the outright denial of the application, as it questions the credibility and reliability of the applicant.


In Damangir v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2024 FC 599, the Federal Court affirmed that IRPA s. 16(1) does not require officers to assess whether an omission is material.