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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Canadian Citizenship Fraud and Misrepresentation

Canadian Citizenship Fraud and Misrepresentation

Fraud and Misrepresentation in Canadian Citizenship Applications

There have been many cases of Canadian citizenship fraud and misrepresentation where individuals omit information that cases inconsistencies in their citizenship applications. Certain individuals who have been alleged misrepresenting themselves or have been fraudulent do not do so intentionally; of course, there are certain individuals who do. Regardless of intention, if there are inconsistencies, the Canadian government takes misrepresentation very seriously and there are very severe consequences. Therefore, in this article, I will address the severity of Canadian citizenship fraud and misrepresentation and other important information you should know if you have a misrepresentation allegation.

What is Fraud and Misrepresentation

Fraud and misrepresentation go hand in hand, especially when it comes to Canadian citizenship. Fraud happens when individuals submit fraudulent documents or information that is not true. Similarly, misrepresentation happens when there is inconsistent, incomplete or inaccurate information provided to Immigration Canada. Most often than not, if an individual has an allegation of misrepresentation, fraudulent activity or information will be found as well.

The Consequences of Citizenship Fraud and Misrepresentation

There have been many investigations conducted by the government of Canada with regards to Canadian citizenship misrepresentation and fraud, as it is a growing and significant problem in Canada. Canadian citizenship fraud involves foreign nationals that wish to immigrate to Canada but use false representation, fraud or omit material information from the Canadian immigration process. There are a lot of individuals that wish to come to Canada and become Canadian citizens but may not be qualified. This becomes a problem for Immigration as they must filter out the individuals who are, in fact, qualified from the individuals who aren’t. An example of Canadian citizenship fraud is when a foreign national omits information about their residency obligations, such as the time spent in Canada, in order to meet the residency requirements.

Specifically, an immigration fraud crackdown was conducted in July of 2011 and the results were shocking. In the Fall of 2011, it was determined that only 12 individuals were revoked of their citizenship due to fraud out of a total of 3000 individuals being investigated. Furthermore, approximately 300 individuals out of the total of 3000 individuals were notified that they may lose their Canadian citizenship.

With these statistics in mind, it is essential that the Canadian government prevent citizenship fraud. This is especially the case because the efforts that are put forth with regards to the prevention, such as conducting investigations and the appeals from revocations, create an enormous backlog for applicants who are legitimately qualified for Canadian citizenship. It is important to note that although the numbers of fraudulent cases are low, the numbers have steadily increased compared to the years prior. A valid example is that only 66 people have been revoked of their Canadian citizenship between the years of 1977 to 2010.

Solution for Citizenship Fraud and Misrepresentation

Fortunately, the Canadian government takes these matters very seriously and has implemented security measures to prevent further citizenship fraud and misrepresentation. These security measures are for citizens of specifically designated countries. The security measures include collecting biometric data from applicants of Canadian citizenship; biometric data includes providing fingerprints and having passport photographs taken. The benefits of biometric data collection are that they are able to provide Immigration with the verified identity of the applicants with a high level of certainty and accuracy. Because of the certainty gained from the collection of biometric data, it makes it almost impossible for any individual to be mistaken for someone else.

The main priority for the collection of biometric data is to strengthen, as well as modernize, the Canadian immigration system, while still allowing authorized and legitimate travellers to enter the country. Subsequently, the biometric data collection effectively reduces the risk of immigration fraud and misrepresentation and prevents individuals with inadmissibility from entering Canada.

The designated countries that must go through biometric data collection include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cambodia
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Keep in mind, most of these countries that must conduct biometric data collection have already been doing so for some time and therefore it is not irregular to do so. Of course there are some exceptions to the individuals who cannot proceed with the biometric collection, such as individuals under the age of 14 or over the age of 80; diplomats, consular officers, and similar representatives travelling for business; individuals who are already in Canada applying as a visitor, student or worker; and individuals who are applying for an transit visa that is less than 48 hours. It is important to note that individuals who obtain biometric data collection from another country may not be able to use the same data and must submit new data to the nearest Canadian Visa Application Center (VAC).

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration if you are applying for Canadian citizenship. If you want to apply for Canadian citizenship, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain citizenship in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible for permanent residency, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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