A Procedural Fairness Letter (PFL) is a letter sent from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to an applicant to allow them to provide an explanation or any additional information before a final decision on their case is made. The purpose is to give the applicant a fair chance to address the visa officer's doubts.
COMMON REASONS WHY A PFL IS ISSUED
The visa officer has reason to believe the applicant has provided false information or documents in the application. For example, if an applicant fails to disclose a previous visa refusal from another country. Another example of misrepresentation is failing to disclose facts about criminal history on the application.
Applicants with a medical issue may be found medically inadmissible to Canada. It is common in family sponsorship cases, especially those involving elderly family members.
The visa officer suspects or has evidence to believe that the applicant has committed or been convicted of a criminal offense in Canada or outside of Canada that would render them inadmissible to Canada, meaning they would not be allowed to enter the country.
Persons who have served in the military or some government positions or who were members of certain organizations may be required to provide more information to IRCC about their roles and activities to determine if they are inadmissible to Canada for security reasons.
Genuineness of Relationship
The visa officer is not convinced that a genuine or real relationship exists and may suspect that it is solely to obtain permanent residence status in Canada. For example, if an applicant enters into a marriage of convenience.
Visa officers can issue a PFL for other reasons if they require more documentation or evidence about an area of concern in the application.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO RESPOND TO A PFL?
You receive a PFL because the visa officer has concerns about your application. The importance of providing an accurate and detailed response supported by facts and the correct documentation cannot be over-emphasized. There is usually only one opportunity to respond to a PFL and make a persuasive argument in your favour. You should utilize this chance as much as possible. Often, individuals do not understand the seriousness and ramifications of a PFL and submit a weak response that does not even provide the information the visa officer is seeking. Not responding at all or submitting an inadequate response to the PFL results in visa rejection. You could be barred from Canada for a period of 5 years if your reply to a PFL for misrepresentation is not convincing,
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