Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is now moving to revoke the citizenship of more than 2,100 individuals for “citizenship fraud”, up from a figure of 1,800 announced earlier in the year. In addition, CIC has targeted 4,400 permanent residents for suspected fraud in maintaining their permanent residence status.
According to a recent CIC news release, the individuals concerned typically used the services of “unscrupulous” immigration consultants to provide fraudulent evidence of residence in Canada in order to get around the residency requirements for citizenship and permanent residence status.
Permanent residents must normally be physically present in Canada for two years within a five-year period in order to maintain their status as permanent residents. Permanent residents applying for citizenship must accumulate three years of residence within the four years immediately preceding the date of their citizenship applications.
According to the news release, CIC has been working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP, and Canadian offices abroad “to prevent people who are suspected of non-compliance with the permanent residence requirement from being admitted to Canada without proving they meet the requirements and [to] take enforcement action when necessary.”
CIC has indicated that, to date, of the 4,400 permanent residents it has targeted, nearly 1,400 individuals have withdrawn or abandoned their citizenship applications because of the department’s new scrutiny.
In its news release, CIC continues to encourage use of the “tip line” it set up in September of this year specifically for reporting cases of alleged “citizenship fraud”.
For further information on CIC’s fraud investigations, or on the requirements generally for maintaining permanent residence status and applying for Canadian citizenship, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.