RCMP is investigating more than 300 people who claimed to live at the same address in Mississauga. The police suspect that it may be a massive case of Canadian citizenship fraud. Citizenship judges were briefed on the file late last year and were warned to look for large numbers of immigration applicants claiming the same address, The Globe and Mail has learned.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Canadian citizenship fraud is a matter of increasing concern and government plans to crackdown on immigration consultants involved in fraudulent activities.
Jason Kenney said,”There are a number of ongoing police investigations into this practice of people abroad hiring consultants to establish for them evidence of residency in Canada, to meet the three-year residency requirement, when, in point of fact, they are often living abroad most or all of that time.”
Pay scales in foreign countries that vary according to nationality are acting as a new kind of catalyst for this kind of fraud, he added. In places such as Dubai, for example, an employee with a Canadian passport can earn a substantial premium compared to those from poorer nations.
“The notion is that there’s a more costly labour market in Western countries. If these people can get a Western passport then they move up the salary scale,” Mr. Kenney said.
A permanent resident must prove he or she has lived in Canada for three of the four years preceding their application in order to become a Canadian citizen.
Canadian Society for Immigration Consultants (CSIC) regulates practices of immigration consultants in Canada. Hiring a consultant is not required to submit the applications related to immigration and citizenship matters and persons deciding to hire one should always check with CSIC.