Beware of Immigration Fraud

You’ve decided that you want to immigrate to Canada to make a better life for yourself and your family. During a consultation, you discover that you do not have enough points, and in order to obtain a higher score so you can immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry system, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required.

An LMIA is initiated by a Canadian employer from within Canada and is issued by Service Canada. In addition to your Express Entry application, an LMIA is also often necessary for a work permit. The employer needs to prove to the Canadian government that the company is unable to locate a Canadian permanent resident or citizen to fill the position. It is a complicated, lengthy and fairly costly process that companies often do not wish to go through, as the employer is required to provide financial documents to Service Canada, pay the required salary, advertise for one month in accordance with the requirements established by the government, and submit an application for the LMIA to Service Canada. The employer will also most likely be interviewed by Service Canada to ensure that the job offer is genuine. Because of all these challenges, some employers are reluctant to go through the process and instead try to meet their employment needs within Canada.

And that is when unassuming and trusting individuals may get ripped off by those selling fake LMIAs. This happens in various countries where companies are involved in the immigration business but are not licenced, acting instead as unauthorized “ghost” consulting firms. Be vigilant. Protect your investment, your savings and your future from bogus promises and fraudulent individuals. Fraud is a criminal offence in Canada.

Identity theft is another form of fraud to watch out for. Once you’re in Canada, criminals involved in identity theft may pose as immigration officers. They may call you and require you to meet them, threatening that you will be deported if you refuse to meet with them and pay them money. They usually schedule their meetings close to immigration centers. Don’t be scared. Protect yourself and call the police, and refrain from engaging in further conversation.

Be cautious about immigration services with suspiciously low prices. Fees that are much lower than the market rate and easy-entry programs are attractive, but if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. They may be selling you services for an immigration program that doesn’t exist! In addition to fake LMIAs, be on the alert for other false documents, such as visas for made-up programs.

Do not be deceived by advertisements that quote very low fees. You need to question what kind of service such a company is going to provide for so little money. Properly preparing an application for a client requires professional knowledge and time. Individuals that charge low fees are usually not authorized to represent you to IRCC, and the low fees are just there for them to make some quick, easy money.

There’s no need to take our word for it. A little research will bring up real-life cases where would-be immigrants have become victims of fraudsters.

Don’t be the victim of a scam; contact a licensed immigration professional. We’re here to help with your LMIA, work permit and permanent residence, and we’ll do it the right way!