How Immigration Investigates Work History

How Immigration Investigates Work History

In immigration applications for permanent residency, applicants are asked to give a time line of their work history and also need to include work reference letters.

Just because a person fills out the immigration form and puts in the reference letters does not mean that everything submitted will be believed. When reviewing an immigration file, immigration officers sometimes do additional investigations. In some cases, these investigations are done without the applicant’s knowledge.

What sort of investigations do immigration officers do?

Earlier in September, the Federal Court of Canada handed down a decision in the case of Kahin v Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In this case, Mr. Kahin challenged a refusal of his permanent residency because the immigration officer did not give him a chance to respond to concerns she had from her independent investigation.

In this case, the immigration officer asked Mr. Kahin for additional details regarding his work history. In response, Mr. Kahin indicated that one of his employers refused his request for a reference letter and that he was unable to find two of his other employers.

The immigration officer then took it upon herself to investigate Mr. Kahin’s employment history. In doing so, she contacted both of the employers Mr. Kahin said he could not find.

The immigration officer found that the first employer had no employment record of Mr. Kahin. In addition, this employer required all of their employees to have a certain license to work there. The immigration officer then called the government agency responsible for licensing and found that Mr. Kahin was not licensed to work in that occupation when he said he worked there. The second employer confirmed that it never operated in the city Mr. Kahin said he was employed.

The immigration officer did not disclose either piece of information to Mr. Kahin or his representative before she refused his application.

What happened in this case?
In this case, the judge stated that the immigration officer had to advise Mr. Kahin of her findings and give him a right to respond. Because he did not get this, the judge overturned the decision of the officer and sent it back for another officer to determine.

What should applicants do when answering questions on work history?
While Mr. Kahin was successful in this case, one of the things that should be noted that immigration officers do in-depth research on individual files when the need arises.

While Mr. Kahin won this case, there is no guarantee that when a new officer looks at his case that it will not be refused again. Individuals who apply for Canadian permanent residency should be very careful when listing out their employment history and providing reference and other letters to ensure that all of the information is accurate. Hiding a period of unemployment, exaggerating ones duties at work, and exaggerating the time a person worked for an organization can be detrimental to an immigration case. It is always advisable to fully disclose an employment history accurately so that, in any investigation, the information on the application will be found to be truthful.

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