The IMM5707 and the Definition of Accompanying

Steven MeurrensInadmissibility

The IMM57-5 asks applicants to delcare whether any family members will accompany them to Canada.

There has been confusion over what “accompany” means that two recent Federal Court of Canada decisions have addressed.

In Adepoju v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2022 FC 438, a husband and wife independently submitted study permit applications. In each application they did not include each other as dependents and checked “no” to whether the spouse would accompany the other to Canada.  In response to a procedural fairness letter, they wrote:

4. My spouse and I applied for a study permit simultaneously and we indicated in our family information form that each of us will be accompanied to Canada by our spouse. We also indicated in our individual letters of explanation for our study permit that our spouse will stay back in Nigeria to serve as home ties.

5. The fact in our application is true and it is possible to be implemented as there is no law that says that a study permit holder must travel to Canada. Our intention was that either of us that gets approved for the study permit will travel for studies while the other person will stay in Nigeria to serve as home ties.

6. Alternatively, the spouse staying in Nigeria may subsequently apply for a work permit since the spouse of students are entitled to apply for an open work permit. The fact that we have said one of us will stay back in Nigeria does not render that spouse inadmissible and does not bar them from applying for a work permit as the spouse of a student. This [sic] our plans do not amount to unclean hands as it does not violate any known immigration law in Canada.

7. We decided to apply for study permit simultaneously because we know our chances of getting approved was [sic] low since the IRCC is bias[ed] against Nigerians as indicated in the report available at A search of the word “Nigeria” through the document in that web link will reveal three instances where IRCC’s racial bias against Nigerians was identified.

Justice Zinn found that a misrepresentation occured, writing:

Paragraph 4 of this affidavit is contradictory: One cannot “accompany” the other to Canada and also remain in Nigeria. The word “accompany” in its usual and ordinary meaning means “to go with: escort” (Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2d ed). It does not mean to follow at a later date. The following paragraphs do not directly addresses this material and clear contradiction.

In Yao v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2022 FC 1274, Justice Fothergill noted that the innocent mistake to misrepresentation may apply where someone will initially travel to Canada with someone but not remain with them, or if they may travel at separate times.

What is clear from the above two cases is that it is better to adopt a broad interpretation of “accompanying.”