“Today, the RCMP’s Atlantic Region Immigration and Passport Section charged two people with offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (sections 126 and 127) for helping individuals fraudulently create the appearance they were residing in Canada in order to keep their permanent resident status, and ultimately, attempt to acquire citizenship. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officials cooperated in the investigation.
“Canadian citizenship is not for sale. Canadians are generous people, but they have no tolerance or patience for those who don’t play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a permanent resident and ultimately obtain Canadian citizenship.
“We will apply the full strength of Canadian law to deal with this fraud. Consequences for citizenship fraud may include criminal prosecution, revocation of citizenship, and removal from Canada. Permanent residents who commit fraud may lose their permanent resident status and may be subject to removal from Canada.
“There are a number of other ongoing investigations regarding potential residence fraud across Canada. Our focus is on early detection and we have prevented a number of permanent residents from fraudulently obtaining citizenship as a result of these investigations.
“Last month, I announced that the Government of Canada is investigating 6,500 permanent residents and citizens from more than 100 countries for misrepresenting their residence in Canada.
“It will take time to work through all the cases and take appropriate action; however, the government has already made significant progress in dealing with residence fraud.
“CIC and its partners—the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP, and Canadian offices abroad—have already removed or denied admittance to nearly 200 former permanent residents, and have denied about 360 citizenship applications where the applicants do not meet the residence requirements. In addition, over 200 notices of intent to revoke citizenship have been issued to those who have managed to obtain Canadian citizenship fraudulently.
“I urge anyone who has information regarding citizenship fraud to call CIC’s tip line to report it and protect the value of Canadian citizenship for those who legitimately obtain citizenship.”
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