If you want to immigrate to Canada but are worried about falling victim to Canada immigration fraud, don’t worry. There are ways to identify the common signs that fake immigration consultancies have.
Canada's immigration industry is rife with immigration scams, a consequence of the high number of international immigrants moving to the country and the corresponding business traffic the demand for immigration consultancy services has created.
Over the years, Canadian authorities have identified the warning signs of immigration scams in Canada to help prevent you from falling victim.
This article will show how to identify Canada immigration fraud, where to report immigration fraud in Canada, and how to report immigration scams in Canada.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Canada Immigration Fraud?
First, you must know what the common types of Canada immigration fraud are. Here are the most common immigration scams affecting potential immigrants to Canada.
Employment Scams Canada
Employment scams in Canada are common. If the immigration consultancy or representative offers you a job in Canada in exchange for money, your suspicions should be immediately raised.
Legitimate immigration consultants and representatives will never discuss job offers. The only offer to facilitate the immigration process for you as authorized agents/liaisons between you, the applicant, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Consultants (IRCC).
How To Tell If Your Canadian Job Offer Is Real or Fake?
To tell whether or not your Canadian Job offer is real or fake, you must be aware of the following red flags.
Mandatory Payment To Secure the Job Or Receive Job Training
A Canadian employment recruiter won’t ask for money to secure you a job. This is against the law. Therefore beware of recruiters that ask you to pay for the job offer in Canada.
Guarantee Entry To Canada Or False Promises
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the only government institution in Canada to approve or issue Canadian work visas and permits. Avoid anyone who guarantees you arranged employment in Canada or a work permit.
No Written Proof Of Job Offer
You are likely dealing with a scammer If you are offered a Canadian job by cellphone or the recruiter attempts to persuade you that you don’t need a job offer letter.
No Duties, Rate Of Pay, Remuneration, Deductions, And Conditions Of Employment
Canada job offers should be written on official company letterheads with contact information, registration, and contact numbers visible on the first page. You can verify this on the internet.
No LMIA Or Employment Number
You may need a registration number obtained from the International Mobility Program (IMP) or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if applicable. Both are essential for your work permit application (except for LMIA-exempt jobs).
Strange Email Address Or Agent
A valid job offer in Canada will never be sent from a personal, strange, or free email address email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Genuine business owners in Canada likely have domain names in their email addresses.
Unsolicited Job Offer
If you did not apply for a job or have a job interview, you may be dealing with a scam.
No Interviews Or Experience Needed
Canada job offers that claim there is no interview, or experience needed, or offers a high salary compared to the national or provincial average are likely fake.
Canada Visa Scam
Should you be offered a work visa by an immigration representative or consultancy company in exchange for money, we advise that you be wary. Immigration agencies and consultants don’t have the power to grant you work visas. This power is solely vested in the IRCC and is based on merit earned via the evaluation process that checks your eligibility to immigrate to Canada.
How To Tell If Your Canadian Visa Is Real or Fake (Scam)?
To spot whether or not your Canadian visa is legitimate, you need to be able to recognize the following common alert signs.
- Do a Font Check
- Look for French Word Errors
- Look for a Watermarked Surname on Your Visa
- Look for Errors in the Layout of your Visa under the “Canada” Title
- Look for Your Visa Number Registration on the Government Website
- Look for the Expiration Date on your Visa
- Look for Any Errors or Mistakes
Learn more about identifying common alert signs for Canada Visa scams.
Immigration Consultant Scams
Immigration consultant scams are the most difficult type of scam to identify since they are mostly in common with the immigration consultancy trade of offering a service (facilitating the immigration of clients to another country) in exchange for money.
However, fake immigration agencies and representatives will cloak themselves behind the image of a legitimate immigration agency or representative while dictating that they pay money upfront for those services.
How To Tell If Your Immigration Agency Is Real or Fake (Scam)?
The following information provides three characteristics that infer legitimacy, authenticity, and authority to all immigration representatives and the consultancy companies that they are either affiliated with or directly represent.
- Citizenship or immigration consultants that are members of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CCIC)
- Lawyers or notaries that are members of the Canadian Provincial or territorial law society
- Paralegals that are members in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada
Besides verifying whether or not an immigration consultancy or agency is registered with the above-mentioned regulatory bodies, to ensure legitimacy, you must also check the immigration agency’s website. The following is a list of the most common website elements you need to verify the authenticity of before deciding if an immigration consultancy site is real or fake.
- Good Website
- A good website design, accurate information, and positive user experience are key factors for determining if an immigration consultancy site is authentic.
- Social Media Presence
- Legitimate sites consistently provide on-brand, true, and regularly updated content to their users. This helps users determine a site's trustworthiness and legitimacy.
- Site Has Verifiable RCICs
- Legitimate Canadian visa websites have Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants on their sites (RCICs).
Learn more about how to identify a fake or real immigration agency with the video below.
What to Do if You’ve Been a Victim of Canada Immigration Fraud?
If you’re a victim of Canada immigration fraud, report it to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you’ve been granted a fraudulent Canadian visa, take these helpful steps
- Contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate: they will verify whether your Canada immigration visa is fake or real.
- Report the fraud to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). You can report suspicious border activities, Marriages of convenience, or people giving false information on their immigration applications.
If you want to learn more helpful tips about avoiding Canada immigration fraud, contact one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs).
What Resources Can You Use To Learn More About Immigration Fraud?
The most immediately available and legitimate institutions you can use to learn more about Canada immigration fraud are the IRCC itself or legitimate immigration agencies or representatives who are well-versed in their industry processes.
What Are The Repercussions For Committing Immigration Fraud?
The repercussions for committing Canada immigration fraud is dependent on the severity of the fraud committed. Fines are usually the form of punishment most used but if a lot of material and financial damage has been committed the offenders could possibly be imprisoned.