It is important to be aware of potential scams so you can recognize them early, not get involved and report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities immediately.
Fake Job Offers
If you are ever contacted with a Canadian job offer, you should make sure that it is legitimate before taking any action. Lawyers and immigration consultants cannot send you a job offer for immigration purposes or guarantee you immigration status. Similarly, law firms cannot act as job soliciting partners for employers or recruitment agencies. You will never receive a legitimate job offer from a law firm and should immediately report any party that claims to either: (a) be a law firm offering you a job offer for immigration purposes; or (b) be an employer or recruiter that is working in partnership with a law firm.
Real employers will first contact you for an interview and discuss a potential job offer with you before sending any documents. If anyone contacts you and asks for payment or an administrative fee in exchange for a job offer then you should report them. Employers will not do this and you should not be required to make any payment to secure a job offer.
Valid job offers should list the name of the employer or recruitment agency and will not list the name of a law firm or government agency. When you receive a job offer from an employer, take the time to review it carefully to make sure that it is legitimate. Below, you will find an example of a fraudulent job offer.
Here is an example of a fake job offer created by a fraudster using our firm’s name – this fraud has been reported to the authorities:
Promises of Guaranteed Application Approvals
Ads or offers that promise you a job or guaranteed entry to Canada are false. Plain and simple. Any Canadian employer, lawyer or other legal representatives who offer you guaranteed entry to Canada, a job offer or expedited processing in exchange for a fee is acting fraudulently. Do not engage with or pay these individuals.
You do not need a legal representative to apply for Canadian immigration status or obtain a Canadian job offer. Legal representatives can help you prepare a strong application and increase your chance of success based on their experience, but they cannot guarantee you a visa or that your application will be processed more quickly than anyone else’s. No representative or third party can negotiate special treatment for you with the government.
Choosing a Legal Representative
It is important to understand who is legally able to help you with an immigration application and give you advice. Only lawyers or paralegals in good standing with a Canadian law society, immigration consultants who are members in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council or notaries who are in good standing with the Chambre des notaires du Québec are legally allowed to charge a fee for immigration advice and assistance.
You can easily make sure that your representative is authorized by asking them if they are a member of any of the above organizations and then calling that organization or doing a quick online search to make sure the individual is who they say they are.
Making False Statements or Submitting Fraudulent Documents
There are serious consequences for providing false documents and information to Canadian immigration authorities. It is important to steer clear of fraudsters because you could also be penalized for being involved.
Penalties include being banned from entering Canada, being recorded in the government’s database, having any existing Canadian status revoked, being removed from Canada and being charged with a federal crime.
How to Report Immigration Fraud
If you suspect that you are in contact with a fraudulent individual or company, do not engage with them or give them any personal information. You should immediately report the activity to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) by calling the Border Watch Tip Line (Toll-Free): 1-888-502-9060. All information you provide will be kept confidential.