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Fraud Prevention Month: Protect yourself from immigration fraud

In 2015, an immigration consultant working out of Vancouver, British Columbia was convicted of widespread immigration fraud. The consultant, Xun “Sunny” Wang, had falsified documents and provided intentionally misleading information for many of his clients. Sunny’s actions have had lasting impacts, not just for him and his employees, but also for the clients he represented, many of whom now face their own criminal charges along with the possibility of deportation from Canada.

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Looking at the situation Sunny has caused for his clients, we can see that immigration fraud is no small issue and that if your representation, be it an immigration consultant or even a lawyer, mishandles your case, you could face serious consequences. Today, we’ll take your through some of the basic ways you can prevent being a victim of immigration fraud!

Fraud Prevention Month

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) declared March 2018 to be Fraud Prevention Month! This month is dedicated to informing potential immigrants about how to avoid being defrauded or cheated on their immigration applications. Sadly, as with the case of Sunny Wang, there are people who will take advantage of those seeking a new life in Canada. Thankfully, there are simple ways that you can ensure your immigration representative is legitimate.

IRCC notes the dangers of working with unauthorized immigration representatives. If you do not verify the authorization of your representative, they may simply take your money and disappear without providing the assistance you paid for.

Immigration Red Flags

Take a look at the following ways you can prevent immigration fraud. For more information, you can also refer to our resources on Immigration Fraud Red Flags!

Your immigration representative cannot prove their authorization

There are two types of authorized immigration representatives: lawyers and consultants.

All immigration lawyers are regulated by their provincial bar association, so you can verify the credentials of a lawyer by looking at their provincial bar association website.

All consultants are regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). You can check the ICCRC registry to ensure a consultant is a verified member in good standing.

Your immigration representative guarantees you a job or a visa

No legitimate immigration lawyer or consultant can guarantee you will receive a job or a Canadian visa. The final decision for immigration matters always comes down to the immigration officer assessing a file, so there is always a risk of refusal, even with applications that may seem straightforward. If someone guarantees your success, you should think twice about working with them.

Your immigration representative asks for payment to a personal account

One sign of fraud comes when a so-called “representative” asks you to submit payment to their personal bank account. Legitimate lawyers and consultants will have corporate bank accounts for the secure transfer of funds.

You receive an unsolicited email or phone call

If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call, especially from a source claiming to offer employment or represent a government immigration program, be careful! At our firm we have many clients who receive these types of communications. Often the people behind these phone calls and emails will want you to pay for false and fraudulent services.

Once you have found a legitimate representative to handle your immigration file, you can always have them take a look at suspicious communications and determine whether they are fraudulent.

What is ‘misrepresentation’?

In Canadian immigration, misrepresentation occurs when an immigration applicant misrepresents or withholds facts pertaining to their application or communicates false or misleading information in the application. Misrepresentation is a serious criminal offense. As in the case of Sunny Wang, serious cases of misrepresentation may result in criminal charges and the possibility of jail time. However, even minimal misrepresentation charges will result in the immigration applicant receiving a five year ban from entering Canada.

If you are concerned about immigration fraud, you should consult with an authorized representative. Attorney Renaud Dery and the Canadim team have nearly 20 years of experience in Canadian immigration. Complete our free online assessment and one of our legal experts will contact you to discuss your options!

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The Canadim Team!


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