Area of Law: Criminal Law
Answer # 1805
Immigration fraudRegion: Ontario Answer # 1805
Common types of immigration fraud
1. Fraud committed by immigration professionals
Immigration fraud can be committed by individuals wishing to immigrate to Canada, as well as people hired as licensed immigration professionals. In the case of immigration professionals, the person is usually:
- an immigration professional properly licensed by a Canadian province,
- an individual pretending to be a licensed immigration professional in Canada, or
- a foreigner purporting to be, or who actually is licensed in their country.
The immigration professional can commit fraud in many ways, and it usually involves one or more of the following:
- a promise to file applications for which the fraudster collects fees but which the fraudster does not file,
- the collection of ‘extra’ fees to ‘guarantee’ the success of the application, which is solely the decision of the Canadian Federal Government,
- falsifying the applicant’s documents,
- provide the applicant with false documents,
- encouraging the applicant to enter into a ‘marriage of convenience’, which is a ‘fake’ marriage entered into simply to gain Canadian immigration status,
- file documents where the immigration professional did not encourage, but had prior knowledge of the fake marriage.
The fraudster may find their victims through a fake ‘immigration services’ website, or by posing as a consultant in a phone call or email, or they may find their victims through legitimate business channels.
2. Providing false information on an application
Individuals who have given false information on any type of immigration application are guilty of immigration fraud. This includes applications based on marriages of convenience.
3. Citizenship and Visa fraud
Citizenship fraud occurs when an individual:
- pretends to live in Canada in order to become a citizen
- does not provide all information relevant to their application for citizenship
- lives in Canada illegally, without the proper immigration documents
- overstays the time permitted by their visa
- works more hours than is allowed when living in Canada on a student visa
If you discover you are a victim of fraud, it is a good idea to contact a fraud recovery expert for advice.
If you have been charged with a fraud or any criminal offence, contact our preferred criminal law experts, The Criminal Law Team
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