Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The problem of document fraud in China, India, Russia and other countries has been going on for years. However, little is ever done about it. See article in the Vancouver Sun below:

New federal immigration rules exploited by fraudsters: documents

Federal anti-fraud unit finds 22 per cent of Chinese applicants misrepresented credentials

Canadian flags are handed out to new Canadians at a recent citizenship ceremony in Ottawa.

Photograph by: Chris Mikukla, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — New federal immigration rules passed in 2008 to make the system more streamlined and "responsive" to Canadian economic needs were exploited by Chinese fraudsters, according to newly released internal documents.

The Conservative government quickly confirmed that the documents, obtained by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, reflect an ongoing problem that needs to be tackled.

An official acknowledged concerns with bogus applications, particularly those relating to the arranged offer of employment (AEO) program.

"We are aware of this issue and are concerned," said Candice Malcolm, spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

"That is why we are currently reviewing options to strengthen the AEO process to prevent this fraud from taking place in the future."

She added that the Harper government has "done more than any government in Canadian history to crack down on all types of immigration fraud and strengthen the integrity of Canadian citizenship."

The documents underline a problem that is of particular concern to B.C., since close to a third of permanent residents allowed into Canada are from China.

Kurland said the documents show that understaffed Canadian missions in certain countries aren't able to contain the pressure from applicants who misrepresent themselves.

"It's China, it's Pakistan, it's Africa, and it's because some countries of the world do not have western democratic institutions issuing reliable paperwork. It's that simple," said Kurland, who obtained the documents through the Access to Information Act.

Canadian officials have "opened their eyes and they see the problem. The question is, what are they going to do about it, if anything?"

Kurland said the ongoing fraud problem could be handled by putting greater emphasis on recruiting skilled foreigners already in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Workers program.

Bill C-50, passed in 2008 under former minister Diane Finley, was intended to let the government set priorities in its selection of economic immigrants to ensure emphasis on the skilled workers needed by Canadian businesses.

But one study of skilled worker applicants from Hong Kong during the 2008-10 period, involving applicants claiming those skills who allegedly had AEOs, found that only 22 per cent had genuine jobs in Canada and many had "very low" English-speaking skills.

"There are serious problems with the validity of job offers" in the AEO category, wrote the authors of the analysis.

The Canadian government's anti-fraud unit in Beijing, meanwhile, did an analysis that found that, of applications between late 2008 and early 2010, more than one in five (22 per cent) of applicants misrepresented their own employment records.

The greatest abusers were supposed "financial auditors and accountants," as 42 per cent of them were lying about their credentials and were in many cases merely cashiers or bookkeepers.

Another above-average category was financial managers, with 27 per cent of applications being fraudulent.

"Employment fraud is an issue on certain profiles of C-50 applications," stated a summary of the report that considered applications for workers headed primarily to Ontario.

"A more thorough verification process is required."

Another 2010 study of applicants from Taiwan found that of 31 AEO applicants, the vast majority headed for B.C., only five — or 16 per cent of the total — actually took jobs with the employers that made the offers.

Kurland's documents pinpointed another fraud concern unrelated to C-50, involving the 275 or so applications for dependent children each year under the family class category.

The analysis noted that it is "common practice" for Chinese couples who have emigrated to Canada to return to China to have children, then go back to Canada when their kids reach school age.

The authors noted that there are persistent reports in China about child trafficking, raising the possibility that Canada's system could be exploited by traffickers.

The study found that five per cent of the cases studied involved confirmed or suspected fraud, though the report doesn't indicate whether the children involved were trafficked.

"The exercise indicated that there is a significant risk of abuse" of the child application program, the report stated.

"In response the family class unit has raised evidentiary requirements for this caseload."

B.C., long a magnet for Chinese immigration, attracted 9,317 of the 30,197 permanent residents from that country in 2010, according to government statistics.

Of the 17,934 Chinese students entering Canada in 2010, 6,061 went to B.C.

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