How Fraudulent Immigration Consultants Are Affecting Canadian Immigration Claims and Agencies
Fraudulent immigration consultants aren’t just scamming people in foreign countries. Closer to home, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is dealing with fraudulent immigration consultants and does not have the resources to investigate every complaint. The “consultant’s” victims lose money, and in some cases are deported if their immigration applications are fraudulent.
With the help of immigration lawyers in Canada, though, these victims might have a chance at a fair immigration hearing and overturn their rejected claims.
A recent article by Law Times discussed necessary federal-level changes that need to be made to crack down on fraudulent immigration consultants in Canada. Currently, the CBSA takes the lead in investigating fraudulent consultants; however, the CBSA also handles many other large cases (such as national security and drug trafficking) that often require more time and resources. This means that they are only able to look into larger cases of immigration fraud.
Small-scale cases, with three to four victims or complaints, are often dismissed due to a lack of resources. Many complaints do not warrant criminal investigations because of a lack of evidence, witnesses, and public interest, or are deemed not severe enough to follow through on.
The Canadian government should ease the burden on the CBSA by allowing other agencies to handle fraudulent immigration consultant cases. At the moment, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) can only investigate complaints against its licensed members, not fraudulent consultants.
A change to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to recognize the ICCRC’s role in Canadian immigration would allow them to investigate more cases. This, in turn, would take some of the pressure and burden off the CBSA.
Currently, there are cases of fraudulent immigration consultants facing jail time. For example, Xu Wang is serving a seven-year prison sentence for scamming hundreds (possibly thousands) of Chinese immigrants.
Wang, like other fraudulent consultants, forged and falsified immigration documents so immigrants could gain permanent residence status in Canada. This investigation has already led to the deportation of some victims, while others are still waiting for decisions.
Unfortunately, fraudulent immigration scams are a reality in Canada. People end up trusting such “consultants” to handle their immigration applications because they pose as legitimate businesses or lawyers. Canada needs to do more to crack down on these fraudulent consultants so that more people don’t fall victim to their schemes and risk losing their chances to immigrate to Canada. Contact an immigration lawyer for assistance if you think you’ve been the victim of an immigration scam.