Notice – Residence Fraud Warning

September 10, 2012 — Nearly 11,000 people from more than 100 countries have potential links to investigations of residence fraud. The fraud involves people suspected of lying about their presence in Canada to keep their permanent resident status or to become Canadian citizens.

The penalties for lying include losing permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship and/or deportation. In the most serious cases, persons who engage in this type of fraud may face criminal charges. Some people have already lost their Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status as a result of these investigations. The government is acting on every case of fraud.

What you need to know:

  • You may be asked to prove that you were in Canada for the time period you claim by immigration, citizenship or border services officers.
  • If you commit fraud, the government will pursue revocation of your citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • There is no time limit for investigating this type of fraud.
  • If your children became citizens or permanent residents because of your fraud, they may lose their status too.
  • Criminal court files and documents are generally publicly accessible.

To keep your status as a permanent resident, you must live in Canada for at least two years within a five-year period with few exceptions. Find out more about residence requirements for permanent residents.

To become a Canadian citizen, you must have lived in Canada for at least three years in the past four years before you apply. Find out more about residence requirements for citizenship applicants.

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