BY RATTAN MALL
A Canada Border Services Agency team liaison officer, anti-fraud, and his assistant discovered last year in September what all Indians already know!
Well-known immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s foremost immigration publication, Lexbase, has published extracts of the report by the CBSA officers this week.
The report states bluntly: “Fraud rate in permanent resident applications from the Punjab state remain high and continuous scrutiny is required throughout all Immigrant classes to detect fraud.”
And then it adds what is an open secret in India: “The collusion of employers remains a challenge as they are prepared to go the extra mile to cover for a friend or family member.”
What that report doesn’t state is that those favours are always done for money or for some sort of quid pro quo; in other words, more immigration fraud!
The report states in regard to the “Skilled Workers” category: “Examples of Fraud discovered: Anti-Fraud team visited a company where three of our applicants stated to be employed as vocational instructors. However, none of the neighbouring shopkeepers / restaurant owner were able to recognize any of the three applicants. When questioned, the employer provided us with the attendance record showing that the three applicants had been added on their registry only after he had issued them the employment letters. The ink was darker, writing style different and the three names were side by side suggesting that their experience letters were back dated. There were two cases where the applicants stated to be employed with hotels, one as a cook and the other as a housekeeping supervisor. However in both cases, the applicants were not present at the work place and none of the employers were able to provide any satisfactory evidence to prove their employment. In one case, the employees’ statements changed after the hotel owner ran to every floor in the hotel to brief the staff about who the applicant was supposed to be. Note that at both places, neighbours could not recognize the applicants.”
In the case of an “Administrative Assistant, the report states: “Applicant alleged to be employed with an Immigration Consultant Agency ‘Career overseas’. The employer admitted that the letter was issued to the applicant as a favour and that she had never worked for him. Similarly, there were two other cases where when confronted, the employers confirmed that the experience certificates were issued as a favour to the applicant. One of the employers stated in writing that the applicant started coming to his bakery about four months before in order to acquire training in case a Canadian Official did a site visit.”
In the case of an “Electrician,” the report states: “Applicant declared himself as electrician and when Anti-Fraud Team visited the address, it was revealed that the applicant actually owned a CD shop. When confronted, he pulled out a plastic bag from under the table with a wire, a couple of plugs and a screwdriver. It was noted that previously, the applicant’s father tried to bribe the AFU Team.”
Regarding “Provincial Nominees,” the report states: “Applicants have exaggerated the length of their work experience in their Employment letter. When we confronted one of the applicants, she stated in writing that she had only worked for five months, but requested an employment certificate which indicated three years of work experience.” “It is worth noting that Economic Class referrals made by Visa Officers who had previous field investigation experience were more focused and had a higher rate of fraud findings as outcomes. The participation of visa officers on site visits gives insight into Indian culture and society which helps in assessing applications and detecting fraud.”
Then there was there were these examples of fraud in “Family Class”: “FC1: Applicant had married her ex-husband’s brother and this relationship falls under prohibited relationship as per section 3(g)(iii) of Hindu Marriage Act 1955. It was admitted by the neighbours as well as sponsor’s close relatives that applicant and sponsor, though not married to each other, were in a relationship even before sponsor immigrated to Canada. Applicant’s son, whose father is declared as her ex-husband appear to be in fact the son of her current sponsor. Later, it was disclosed by the sponsor’s cousin and sister-in-law that the sponsor was previously married and the marriage lasted for two years. The information was not disclosed by sponsor so he has misrepresented his marital status at the time of his immigration.”
“FCH: “Sponsor declared his spouse as deceased and was sponsoring his five children under FCH – Family Class with H&C consideration. The Anti-Fraud team met sponsor’s brother and it was revealed that the sponsor had in fact only three children, two of whom were actually married. When asked who the other two declared ‘sons’ were, the brother declared that the sponsor had included his nephew and a villager’s son as his dependents.”