Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, congratulated the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Nova Scotia in their efforts to crack down on residence fraud in the province.
The RCMP recently charged a Bedford, Nova Scotia resident with several criminal code offences including misrepresentation and false representation. The Minister stated that this thorough investigation conducted by the RCMP should represent a warning to those who consider committing citizenship fraud in Canada. Citizenship fraud involves cases where foreign national wishing to immigrate to Canada use false representation, fraud or knowingly conceal material information in the Canadian immigration process. An example would be where a foreign nationals lies about his or her time spent in Canada in order to meet the residency requirements.
Despite the recent accomplishments, the current government has been criticized for the lack of results that came from an immigration fraud crackdown that began in July 2011. By Fall 2011, only 12 individuals out of 3000 being investigated had their citizenship revoked for fraud, while 6 others lost their Canadian citizenship for other reasons. Nearly 300 of those 3000 people were given notice they may lose their Canadian citizenship. It is important to prevent Canadian immigration fraud efficiently, as the efforts of conducting investigations, along with the appeals that often come from such revocations, create a backlog for legitimate applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada honestly. Although the number of those caught for Canadian citizenship fraud appears low in recent years, the numbers represent a significant improvement when compared with figures over the past 30 years. For example, only 66 people have had their Canadian citizenship revoked between 1977-2010.
In an effort to combat immigration fraud to Canada, the Canadian Government has also recently implemented new security measures for citizens of certain designated countries. The new security measures includes the collection of biometric data from applicants, which includes providing fingerprints and having their photographs. Such measures help Canadian visa officers verify the identity of applicants when they arrive at the border.
For a free consultation with a Canadian immigration lawyer, contact First Immigration Law Firm toll-free in North America @ 1 (855) 360-4333 or 1 (514) 360-4333 internationally.