Fraud Prevention

Don’t Be A Victim of Fraud – Protect Yourself From Fraud

Canadian immigration scams are broad and dangerous. People who have learnt the power of the internet take advantage of its resources to pose as government officials and scare unknowing victims into parting with significant sums of money. Potential Canadian immigration applicants must be aware from the very beginning of their application process until after they have successfully immigrated to Canada. It is a simple enough one to look out for, just know the signs and what to do if it touches you.

It doesn’t matter where you are in your application, whether you are still in your home country or are already living and working in Canada, if these criminals get a sniff of your intention to immigrate, they will target your fears and extort money from you.

Things you need to know

  • Unlicensed Immigration Consultants may use titles that have different meanings but that can be seen as interchangeable. The professional designation “notario” has nothing to do with a notaire du Québec, a lawyer or a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Individuals that call themselves “notarios” are not authorized to give immigration advice. Also, the person who holds a diploma from an immigration practitioner’s program is not a licensed Immigration Consultant yet. They must be registered with ICCRC in order to offer Canadian immigration services in exchange for a fee.
  • Do not sign blank forms or forms containing false information. Be cautious if you are asked for a CASH payment. Whereas, the cash payments are not usually trackable because there is no document to prove that you paid. Other methods of payment are trackable (cheque, credit card, bank transfer) and can be proven by viewing a bank statement.
  • Beware if you are given guarantees on processing time regarding an immigration application. Because there is no absolute processing timeline for any type of immigration application. You may be advised of a timeline range (for example, 8-12 weeks), but no visa office or visa officer will ever give you a guarantee.
  • Be alert if you are guaranteed a job and immigration at the same time. Example: ‘For $10,000 we will find you a job and get your immigration papers.’ No one should charge you fees for finding a job: not the employer, not the recruiter, not the Immigration Consultant.
  • No one can guarantee an application approval. Whereas, the result of your immigration application cannot be guaranteed. The decision for any immigration application is up to the visa officer.
  • Beware if the person you are considering hiring for immigration services mentions that they know someone in the Immigration Department that can help with your immigration application.
  • Beware if the person you are considering hiring for immigration services demonstrates an apparent lack of knowledge when you ask specific questions about immigration or ICCRC’s Code of Professional Ethics.
  • Beware if you are encouraged to lie on your immigration application. If you lie on your immigration application, you are committing misrepresentation. The penalty for misrepresentation is a ban from submitting any type of application to Canada for a period of five years.

How to report fraud and scams

the following information outlines how to report immigration fraud and scams.

Email, telephone, internet scams

Email, telephone and internet scammers can be very convincing. They will use all kinds of tactics to try and defraud you of your personal information or money. In many cases, scammers will send emails that appear legitimate and official, even using government logos.

Canadian federal and provincial governments do not have special agreements with private companies to get jobs or visas on your behalf.

Only the Canadian federal government can approve and issue documents that confirm immigration status in Canada.

Please report email, telephone, and internet scams, as well as financial losses (suspected or confirmed) due to fraud, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:

Examples of email, telephone, and internet scams include:

  • emails asking you to confirm receipt by “responding immediately” and by responding, they will then send you a second email promising more information and lots of benefits
  • emails telling you that you were selected or chosen through an “electronic ballot system” for resettlement in Canada
  • emails, phone calls or websites that ask you to send personal information, money or prepaid gift card numbers, or scans of your photos and passports
  • emails, phone calls or websites giving you a “guaranteed” visa or nomination

If you are unsure whether an email, a telephone call, or a website is a scam, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre will be able to help you make that determination.

Immigration fraud in Canada

If you have information about immigration fraud in Canada, please report this information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):

Examples of immigration fraud in Canada include:

  • people who have overstayed their status in Canada
  • people who are working or studying in Canada without authorization
  • people wanted on an immigration warrant
  • people who have entered Canada based on misrepresentation, or who have made a false declaration or document fraud

Canadian citizenship fraud

If you have information about Canadian citizenship fraud, please report this information to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

Examples of Canadian citizenship fraud include:

  • people who pretended to live in Canada to become a citizen
  • people who hid information about their Canadian citizenship case

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) fraud

If you have information about LMIA fraud, you can contact the National Investigative Services, Integrity Services Branch of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) through Service Canada:

How to file a complaint

Complaints regarding an immigration consultant

If you want to file a complaint against an immigration consultant, you can contact the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC):

Complaints regarding an immigration lawyer or notary

If you want to file a complaint against an immigration lawyer or notary, you can contact the law society in their province or territory: