The Government of Canada is cracking down on people who obtain citizenship by fraudulent means.
A new process to revoke the citizenship of up to 1,800 citizens has been announced by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
‘Canadian citizenship is not for sale. There are some around the world who would abuse Canada’s openness and seek to devalue Canadian citizenship. We will apply the full force of Canadian law to punish those who have obtained citizenship fraudulently,’ said Kenney.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is increasing the number of revocations it pursues as a result of its ongoing investigations into residence fraud in Canada. To date, approximately 1,800 citizens may have obtained citizenship fraudulently, many by using the services of crooked consultants to misrepresent their residence in Canada.
‘Canada welcomed 143,535 new citizens in 2010. Obviously, the vast majority of these new Canadians obtained their citizenship honestly. We are defending the interests of these law-abiding new citizens by taking action against the small number of those who seek to cheapen the value of Canadian citizenship by acquiring it illicitly,’ Kenney explained.
CIC has increased the resources dedicated to combating residence fraud in the past year. Many of the people under investigation are suspected of using consultants to falsely establish evidence of residence in Canada while continuing to live abroad most, or all, of the time.
A family of five may pay upwards of $25,000 over four or more years to create the illusion of residence in Canada. Citizenship fraud is a global problem. To date, individuals from over 60 different countries have been implicated in this fraud.
The Government of Canada is also taking action to crackdown on the actions of crooked consultants during the immigration process. Bill C-35, originally introduced as the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act, came into force on June 30, 2011. The Act imposes penalties on unauthorized representatives, who provide or offer to provide, advice or representation for a fee at any stage of an immigration application or proceeding.