Canada to revoke citizenship from 3,100 people
TORONTO (AP) — Canada has begun revoking
3,100 people that the government said obtained it fraudulently, the country's
minister said Monday.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that
in most of the fraud cases, applicants paid a representative to prove they were
living in Canada to establish residency when they were, in fact, living
Permanent residents must reside in Canada
for three out of four consecutive years before applying for Canadian citizenship. To
retain their status as permanent residents, they must live in
Canada for two out of five years, with rare exceptions.
Criminal investigations by the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police and the Canadian Border Services Agency have found that a family
of five could pay over $25,000 over four or more years to create the illusion of
The government said it is also
investigating thousands of others who may have lied to obtain or maintain
permanent residency. Kenney said anyone caught committing fraud will be stripped
of citizenship and residence status.
"Canadian citizenship is not for sale,"
Kenney said during a news conference Monday. "We will not stand idly by and
allow people to lie and cheat their way into Canadian citizenship."
Kenney has said that Canada's per-capita
remains one of the highest in the world, with the country welcoming 248,660
permanent residents in 2011. An average of about 250,000 immigrants has been
admitted to Canada annually since 2006, which the immigration department calls
the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history.
The minister said a crack-down on
immigration fraud started three years ago, with nearly 11,000 individuals
potentially implicated in lying to apply for citizenship or maintain permanent
He said federal agencies have so far
removed or denied admittance to more than 600 former permanent residents linked
to the investigations.
Kenney also said he is planning to
introduce amendments to the Citizenship Act that would require immigration
consultants to be members of a regulatory body, which he said may help crack
down on crooked consultants.
The US should take a hint........and perhaps follow in Canada's footsteps!
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