Immigration fraud is a serious crime in Canada. Don't be a victim of immigration fraud. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Learn how to spot scams and protect yourself, advises Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). March is Canada Immigration Fraud Prevention Month. You don't have to hire a lawyer, consultant or representative for your immigration application, but an experienced professional immigration lawyer or consultant can provide important information and advice to guide your immigration journey, and save you time money and stress. Only authorized representatives can charge a fee to help you apply.
IRCC issued a press release dedicated to informing immigration applicants and newcomers advice on how to avoid immigration fraud:
“Canada remains one of the most popular destinations for immigrants looking for a fresh start. These are among the largest personal decisions individuals will make, and many people look for professionals to ease the process. Sadly, immigration fraud continues to be a common and serious crime in Canada.
For many prospective immigrants, getting help from a professional consultant or lawyer is an understandable decision, meant to offer support throughout the process. Canada’s immigration system can be complex, and navigating it alone can be daunting. Unfortunately, many unlicensed consultants are eager to exploit inexperience and anxiety for their own gain."
- The Honourable Sean Fraser,
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
7 Tips to Avoid Immigration Fraud
During Immigration Fraud Prevention Month, IRCC is providing information and tips about how to recognize and protect yourself from immigration-related fraud.
Canadian immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah said,
Immigration fraud is a serious problem in Canada, that preys on desperate individuals. Many people have seen their immigration hopes put on hold for the past 2 years, and are now fearful of long the immigration backlog Canada is experiencing. It is important that applicants choose their representatives carefully, and not out of desperation, so that their application has the best chance possible for being approved. Immigration fraud has serious consequences for the victims.
1. If You're Paying For Immigration Services, Make Sure Your Representative is Authorized
You don't have to hire a representative for your immigration application, but if you choose to use one, choose carefully. Only authorized representatives can charge a fee to help you apply.
2. Newcomers Are Susceptible to Fraud
Newcomers to Canada might not be familiar with how companies or the government normally do business here. IRCC explains here how to spot common scams aimed at newcomers and what to do if you are targeted.
3. Immigration Lawyers Are Highly Trained and Regulated
Lawyers or notaries must be a member of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society, or the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
4. Make Sure Your Immigration Consultant is Authorized
IRCC warned, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you choose to use a paid representative for your immigration application, make sure they are authorized." The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants across Canada.
5. Don't Be Guilty of Misrepresentation and Document Fraud.
It is an offence to provide false documents or information to IRCC officials. If you do so, your application will be refused and you can face serious consequences. Learn more about document fraud here.
6. IRCC Is The Official Source for Canadian Immigration Programs and Services
Be careful when searching for immigration information online. Our website is the only official source of information about IRCC programs and services. Read these tips from IRCC on how to identify if an immigration website is a scam.
7. Spot Internet, Email and Telephone Immigration Scams
It’s easy for criminals to create fake websites or email addresses that look professional or like they belong to the government. Learn how to recognize and avoid falling victim to an internet, email or telephone scam.
- 9 Reasons to Hire an Immigration Lawyer (Not a Consultant)
- Ghost Consultants and Immigration Fraud
- Misrepresentation: Document Fraud & Immigration
- International Students and Immigration Fraud
- Marriage Fraud: How Do I Prove My Spousal Application Is Legitimate?
Immigration Lawyers Help Applicants Streamline the Application Process and Avoid Pitfalls
Ackah Business Immigration Law is led by Canadian immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah and a team of dedicated immigration lawyers, consultants and professionals. Our staff is highly supervised by experienced immigration lawyers, with over 50 years of combined legal experience.
With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Ackah Law can help businesses and individuals nationwide with their legal matters. In Canada, immigration is a federal process and it does not matter where the applicant’s immigration lawyer is located, except in Quebec