Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has moved to revoke the citizenship of as many as 1,800 persons who allegedly obtained their citizenship through fraudulent means.
The announcement was made by CIC Minister Jason Kenney in recent speeches to the Vancouver Board of Trade and Economic Club of Canada. The Minister stated that most of the targeted individuals were advised by three or four crooked immigration consultants on how to get around the residency requirements for citizenship, in particular the requirement that an applicant accumulate three years of residence in Canada in the four years immediately preceding the application date.
According to Minister Kenney, the consultants typically marketed their services to persons living in overseas tax havens and provided their clients with fake receipts for apartment rentals and other false evidence of residency in Canada.
While individuals can contest revocation in the Federal Court of Canada, Minister Kenney predicted that most of the 1,800 targeted individuals are unlikely to do so as the evidence of fraud CIC has uncovered is “compelling” and most are not living in Canada.
The Minister also indicated in separate comments to CBC Television that the government now has a “task force” of 11 full-time officials working on uncovering cases of citizenship fraud. The task force led the investigations resulting in the current revocations.
For further information on the requirements and process in applying for Canadian citizenship, including the residency requirements, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.