It is an unfortunate fact that immigrants are often the victims of fraud or other illegal activities, but with a certain degree of education anyone can avoid these awful pitfalls.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the direction of Minister Jason Kenney, takes immigration fraud very seriously and have enacted many deterrents over the years.
People who have been caught attempting to defraud the immigration department of the government will be placed into removal proceedings and most likely will be deported.
The CIC is not the only organization of Canada interested in enforcing the immigration laws of the country. The Canada Border Services Agency is largely responsible for enforcement duties.
It is very important to file your applications carefully to ensure that the CIC does not think you are trying to defraud the government.
Different Kinds of Fraud
There are a number of different categories of potential fraud that may occur:
- Marriage Fraud is when a person from Canada marries a foreign resident with the intent of giving them immigrant status or citizenship. The couple then divorces and both have supposedly legal status in Canada. The Canadian resident may or may not be aware of this scheme and may believe that it is a legitimate marriage, though it is not. This is also called a marriage of convenience.
- Forgeries are instances where people will submit fraudulent documents to Citizenship and Immigration Canada with the intent of making themselves look more desirable as an immigrant or to hide things that may make them ineligible. Forged documents are absolutely illegal and will result in removal from Canada.
- Some predatory groups on the Internet will take advantage of immigrants’ experience and try to trick them into giving up information. They may contact a potential immigrant posing as the CIC and then ask for credit card information to be able to process an account. Do not accept communication from organizations other than CIC. The CIC will not ask you for your credit card information.
Depending on what kind of fraud has occurred there you may have to contact different organizations. Below is a short list of organizations you should contact in case of immigration fraud:
- General Immigration Fraud reporting: 1-888-502-9060.
- You can also contact the CIC to report citizenship fraud through 1-888-242-2100.
Protecting yourself against Fraud
Here are some helpful hints to help you protect yourself against fraud:
- Carefully read all relevant information in any immigration programs you may use, either with the CIC or another organization. There are plenty of valid and useful third party organizations, but you must examine them first.
- Be wary of potentially unusual activities of people trying to immigrate to Canada. There are many “mail order bride” organizations that exist only to help people immigrate to Canada and take advantage of their sponsor.
- Make sure that all of the documents you submit for your application are official before you include them in your application package.