Statement on Fraud Prevention Month
Ottawa, March 1, 2022–The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:
“Canada remains one of the most popular destinations for immigrants looking for a fresh start. These are among the largest personal decisions individuals will make, and many people look for professionals to ease the process. Sadly, immigration fraud continues to be a common and serious crime in Canada.
“For many prospective immigrants, getting help from a professional consultant or lawyer is an understandable decision, meant to offer support throughout the process. Canada’s immigration system can be complex, and navigating it alone can be daunting. Unfortunately, many unlicensed consultants are eager to exploit inexperience and anxiety for their own gain.
“Each year, in March, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) actively participates in the Government of Canada’s Fraud Prevention Month to shine a light on the risks associated with fraud and the ways newcomers can protect themselves. The best way to be protected is to be informed and prepared. Being educated on the warning signs allows newcomers to recognize fraud, reject fraud, and report fraud.
“The Government of Canada has taken action to hold the consulting profession to a higher standard. In November 2021, we marked a major milestone in this commitment when the new College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants opened its doors. As the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants, the College has the power and tools to investigate professional misconduct and to discipline its licensees. It will also be subject to significant government oversight to ensure public protection.
“Canada has also taken decisive action by investing $51.9 million to improve oversight, strengthen enforcement, and increase accountability to protect the public from dishonest consultants who take advantage of vulnerable newcomers.
“If you choose to hire a representative, use an authorized immigration and citizenship consultant, lawyer or Quebec notary. Using an authorized representative does not guarantee approval of your application, but the fees will be regulated and you will get a fair assessment of your case.
“No matter what path you choose, keep yourself informed. All necessary application documents can be found on the IRCC website.
“Together, we can prevent immigration fraud. To find out about common types of immigration scams and where to report immigration fraud, visit Canada.ca/immigration-fraud.