June 12, 2024

Do IRCC Officers Review Your Social Media Profiles?

Many YouTube content creators claim that IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) officers are now asking visitors to show their phones and scrutinize their social media accounts at ports of entry. They suggest that numerous immigrants are being deported if these officers find discrepancies, such as conversations about job searches, working in Canada, or intentions to seek asylum.

A Real Story

Consider this real-life case: A man applied to move to Canada as a skilled worker but omitted his role with a particular company on his application. However, the company's website listed him as the Executive Chairman, and his LinkedIn profile indicated he was on the Board. Despite being given an opportunity to explain the inconsistency, the immigration officer found his response unsatisfactory and denied his application, concluding that he had not been truthful.

Simple Bio Data Verification

During the visa application process, IRCC can search the internet and social media platforms to verify the information you provide. This can lead to visa rejections if discrepancies are found, especially if other red flags are present in your documents. Some of the bio data they can easily obtain from these sources include:

  • Your current occupation and employer
  • Your educational background
  • Your work history
  • Your relationship status
  • Your country of residence
  • Your family composition
  • Your business or entrepreneurial activities
  • Your language proficiency
  • Your travel or relocation history
  • Any information you voluntarily post on social media profiles

How Your Social Media Accounts Can Be Used Against You

Marital Status Conflicts

IRCC can easily verify your relationship status through your social media pages. If you're applying for a spousal or common-law partnership visa and your social media profiles indicate you're single, divorced, or widowed, this could create serious issues. For example, if you claim to be in a same-sex relationship but post photos kissing someone of the opposite sex, it could raise red flags. Unless you clearly explain in your application that you are bisexual or heterosexual, this discrepancy might jeopardize your application.

Public Display of Affection May Help

Ensure that your social media accounts display photos of your spouse or common-law partner, rather than someone else you haven't mentioned to IRCC. Immigration lawyers and consultants with years of experience confirm that IRCC often conducts online verifications, particularly for international applicants seeking family sponsorships or permanent residence visas. To avoid raising any red flags about your marital relationship, be transparent and consistent with the information you provide.

Language Usage

Whether you speak English or French, ensure your social media reflects your linguistic abilities. Engage in communication using the language, even if you're only proficient at a basic level. However, be cautious not to misrepresent your language skills, as this could raise doubts with IRCC. Maintain a natural and social tone on your accounts, avoiding any appearance of trying to impress visa officers. Simply incorporating bilingual status on your profile can be beneficial in showcasing your language proficiency.

Work Experience Consistency

Ensure consistency between your claimed occupation on your visa application and your professional profiles such as LinkedIn. If discrepancies arise, such as listing yourself as a mechanical engineer in your application but appearing as a self-employed CEO on LinkedIn, it may lead to allegations of misrepresentation. This could result in severe consequences, including bans from entering Canada. Prevent such issues by accurately representing your credentials across all platforms to avoid potential flags and discrepancies in your application.

Verifying Employment History

Should you assert employment with a reputable organization that cannot be verified online, IRCC may question the authenticity of your work experience. This could lead to inquiries regarding the legitimacy of your job history, potentially complicating your application process. Ensure thorough consideration of the information you provide and represent yourself accurately. Ensure past employers are reachable online to facilitate verification and avoid complications in your application.

Family Connections: Navigating Social Media

Displaying images of family members residing in Canada on your social media, while claiming no familial ties in your application, can arouse suspicion. It's prudent to conduct your own thorough assessment before IRCC initiates inquiries. Ensure alignment between your social media presence and the information provided in your application to avoid potential complications.

If you assert only siblings in your home country and your social media reveals you hugging your children with explicit captions, it may trigger concerns, potentially leading to a visa ban.


Issues on your social media accounts can trigger visa bans, refusals, or further investigations, causing delays and procedural fairness letters. Protect your privacy, avoid red flags, and prepare for the application process to ensure a smooth journey.

The Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, California, hosts the Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web. IRCC may use it to scrutinize your online presence from as far back as 1996 or 2001. This vast repository contains 735 billion web pages, including texts, images, videos, and software downloads.

Leveraging Google Search and Maps

IRCC relies heavily on Google Search and Maps as their primary tool for rapid online verification and investigation of visa applicants. Through basic searches and Artificial Intelligence, they ascertain details such as your work locations, residence countries, travel history, volunteer engagements, educational background, and affiliations with various organizations.

Take Note:

Keep in mind that the complexity and duration of your application process can prompt IRCC to conduct thorough investigations, particularly in cases like spousal sponsorship, work permits, asylum applications, or other visa appeals. While IRCC acknowledges that certain social media data may be unreliable, it can still raise verification concerns.

Where Will IRCC Look?

Your major social media platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube, Pinterest, Quora, etc., will undergo scrutiny. Consider these questions to assess your online presence and enhance your impression:

  • When I search my name on Google, what results appear from page 1 onwards?
  • Are my work, volunteer activities, or business ventures visible online as I've described them in my applications?
  • Is it necessary to have everything online? Not necessarily, but avoid contradicting your visa applications with your online content.
  • Can I showcase what I want IRCC to know about me on social media? Absolutely, start curating your online presence now.
  • Can I update my profiles, even if I haven't done so in a while? Yes, it's never too late to make adjustments.


In conclusion, while a strong application with verifiable documentation may deter IRCC from scrutinizing your social media, applicants from regions with stricter security measures may face online verification. It's prudent to plan meticulously and exercise caution, especially if you hail from areas prone to heightened scrutiny.

Navigating Immigration Challenges with Pelican Migration Consultants

Pelican Migration Consultants is dedicated to assisting individuals in overcoming the complexities of the Canadian immigration process. Our team ensures that applicants' documentation is thorough, accurate, and consistent, minimizing the risk of discrepancies that could lead to application refusals or delays. Here are five key points on how we can help you achieve your migration goals:

  • Personalized Guidance: Our experienced consultants provide personalized guidance tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring that you understand the requirements and steps involved in the immigration process.
  • Document Preparation: We meticulously prepare all required documentation, ensuring that it accurately reflects your qualifications, work experience, and other relevant information.
  • Profile Optimization: We assist in optimizing your online profiles to align with your immigration application, helping to present a cohesive and credible image to immigration authorities.
  • Application Support: Our team offers comprehensive support throughout the application process, from initial assessment to submission, addressing any concerns or questions along the way.
  • Compliance Assurance: With our expertise, you can rest assured that your application complies with IRCC's standards and regulations, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.