Can You Go to Jail for Submitting False Documents to Immigration?

Can You Go to Jail for Submitting False Documents to Immigration?

Immigration law requires all immigration applicants to be truthful. This includes being truthful in what you write down as well as in the documents you submit. Submitting false information with an immigration application can result in both fines and jail time as confirmed by two cases in 2008.

In the Hupang case, Mr. Hupang was convicted of an immigration violation because he attached a false school transcript and false acceptance letter to his application to renew his expired study permit. Mr. Hupang purchased these documents for $3,000.00.

Before doing this, Mr. Hupang was validly studying at a private college in Vancouver. When that college closed, he lost his tuition and his student status in Canada. In order to try to extend his status, he submitted false documents to immigration.

Despite having no criminal record, Mr. Hupang was originally sentenced to two month in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. While the British Columbia Court of Appeal set aside Mr. Hupang’s two month jail sentence, it did impose a sentence of 17 days in jail which represented the amount of time Mr. Hupang had already served in jail. In addition, the Court of Appeal maintained the $2,500.00 fine he was originally required to pay. While the Court of Appeal indicated that there is no requirement to imprison individuals who provide false documents to immigration, the 17 days of imprisonment was still maintained and Mr. Hupang was given a criminal record.

Also in 2008, B.C. Courts considered the case of Lei Zhong. In Mr. Zhong case, Mr. Zhong was convicted of making false statements on his immigration application to renew his study permit. Like Mr. Hupang, Mr. Zhong provided false transcripts and acceptance documents to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

In this case, the judge found that the large fee that Mr. Zhong paid to his immigration consultant was a factor that could lead to the conclusion that Mr. Zhong knowingly submitted false documentation. As a result, Mr. Zhong’s sentence of 3 months in jail was upheld.

Before submitting any application or supporting documents in an immigration application, make sure that everything is truthful. Not only can the submission of false documents lead to jail time and fines, if an immigration applicant is found guilty of a crime, this can make that person “criminally inadmissible” to Canada for a number of years after they finish their jail sentence or pay their fine. If a person is “criminally inadmissible”, the person will normally not be allowed into Canada for a number of years for any purpose.

This Article is prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for readers and friends of the Filipino Journal. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.

Reis is a lawyer with Aikins Law and practices in the areas of immigration law. His direct line is 957-4640. If you would like to know more about Reis or Aikins you can visit the firm’s web page at, follow Reis on Twitter at!/ImmigrationReis, or connect with him on LinkedIn at