02 February 2010

Canadian immigration investigate 300 people linked to suspected citizenship fraud

Investigations are being made into more than 300 people who claimed to live at the same address in Mississauga in what may be a massive case of Canadian citizenship fraud.

Canadian immigration

Investigations are being made into suspected Canadian immigration and citizenship fraud.

The case centers around an address located in the same building as a centre that offers language classes and settlement services to new immigrants and also acts as a Palestinian and Arab causes advocate.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police would neither confirm nor deny the investigation.

Canadian immigration Minister Jason Kenney has not commented on this case specifically, but said he met recently with immigration enforcement officials who briefed him on the issue of citizenship fraud, which is a matter of increasing concern.

"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," Mr Kenney said.

In order to become a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident must prove he or she has lived in Canada for three of the four years preceding their application. The benefits of obtaining Canadian citizenship are considerable, including access to subsidised health care and university tuition among others.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Canadian Visa applications to the Canadian High Commission.

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