Immigration fraud is a severe problem that affects many people applying for immigration or citizenship in Canada. Fraudsters can offer false promises, charge high fees, or steal personal information from applicants. The consequences of falling for fraud can be devastating, such as losing money, having the application denied, or being barred from entering Canada.
How to Protect Yourself from Immigration Fraud
To protect yourself and others from immigration fraud, you should be aware of some common signs and tips:
- No one can guarantee a Canadian job or a visa. Only immigration officers in Canada Canadian embassies, consulates, and high commissions can decide to issue a visa.
- Processing fees for Canadian government services are the same in Canada and worldwide. The application fees in local currencies are based on official exchange rates. IRCC does not accept gift cards or cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, etc.) as payment for processing fees.
- IRCC will only ask you to pay application fees for Canadian govt. Services to the “Receiver General for Canada” unless they state something different on a Canadian visa office website.
- Be careful of representatives or individuals who charge fees for supporting documents, such as Labour Market Impact Assessments, job offer letters, etc.
- IRCC employees will never ask you to provide money into a personal bank account, transfer money via a money transfer service, offer special deals to people who want to immigrate, use free email services, contact you via social media, or threaten to have you removed from Canada if you do not send money.
- You do not need a lawyer or consultant to help you apply – that decision is yours. On their website, you can find free application forms and guides for all IRCC services.
- Be wary of jobs that offer a high salary but require little or no experience or qualifications.
How to Report Immigration Fraud
Reporting a scam or fraud to the authorities right away is crucial if you come across one. You can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online. Outside of Canada, report the scam to your local police. You can also call the Canada Border Services Agency Border Watch Toll-Free Line or online to report offenses such as suspicious border activity, a marriage of convenience, a person who has given false information on an immigration application, or a person wanted on an immigration warrant.
Immigration fraud is a severe crime that can harm both applicants and Canadians. By being informed and vigilant, you can avoid becoming a victim and help stop fraudsters from exploiting others.