Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

March 02, 2011 12:43 ET

Minister Kenney Applauds Citizenship and Immigration Fraud Charges

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today offered his appreciation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for their ongoing efforts to investigate citizenship and immigration fraud:

"On March 2, the RCMP laid charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act against a Halifax immigration consultant. This follows an investigation into whether the consultant fraudulently helped individuals create the appearance they were residing in Canada in order to keep their permanent resident status, and ultimately attempt to acquire citizenship. Citizenship and Immigration Canada cooperated in this investigation.

"Our government takes a zero tolerance approach to immigration and citizenship fraud. We are particularly concerned by residency fraud in the immigration and citizenship programs. With just this one consultant, about 1,100 principal applicants plus their dependents were implicated. At this time, our records indicate that 76 individuals identified through the RCMP investigation have obtained citizenship. We have also prevented a number of people from fraudulently obtaining citizenship as a result of this investigation. Our investigation is ongoing.

"Citizenship fraud is a serious offence that implicates both applicants and consultants. That is why we will apply the full strength of Canadian law, and where evidence permits, we will seek revocation of Canadian citizenship and deportation. Canadians value their citizenship. It is not something to be bought and sold with the help of crooked consultants.

"That is why, last year, I introduced the Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act, which, if passed, will amend the Citizenship Act by increasing the penalties for fraud and strengthening citizenship residence requirements to specify in law that people applying for citizenship would have to be physically present in Canada for three of the previous four years. It's why I also introduced the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act, which, if passed, proposes new and stronger penalties for being a crooked immigration consultant, including fines or prison, or both.

"Citizenship and residency fraud are serious issues in Canada. There are a number of other ongoing police investigations regarding potential residence fraud across Canada. Crooked consultants take advantage of individuals eager to come to this country and pose a serious threat to the integrity of Canada's immigration system. All levels of government and law enforcement must work together to ensure that those who commit fraud are punished."

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Media Relations