11 June 2010

Canadian immigration fraud to carry harsher penalties

Citizenship fraud may soon carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of CA$100,000, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced.

Other changes under proposed legislation include the requirement for people applying for citizenship to be physically present in Canada for three of the four previous years to qualify.

The changes are part of a number of Canadian immigration reforms being introduced to protect the system from abuse.

"Canadian citizenship is more than a legal status, more than a passport," Kenney said.

"We expect citizens to have an ongoing commitment, connection and loyalty to Canada."

Canada has had a proud tradition of immigration, and is continuing to rely on skills migrants to help keep population numbers up and the economy growing.

The 2006 census found that one in five Canadians (19.8 per cent) was foreign-born with a total of 252,124 immigrants coming to Canada in the past year. 

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Canadian Visa applications with the Canadian Embassy.   

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