OTTAWA – Canada is taking out ads in major Indian newspapers and electronic media to warn visa applicants from India not to use “fraudster” immigration consultants and apply the smart way through online application.
Canada launched an information campaign in India last week to help temporary resident visa applicants save their time and money, avoid falling victim to fraud and common immigration scams, and inform them about the best channel to use when applying for a Canadian visa.
Last year, Canada welcomed 297,000 visitors from India. As this number continues to grow, it is critical that applicants get the true facts on applying for a visa.
“Canada continues to welcome visitors from India. This campaign will help applicants in India and their friends and family members here in Canada better understand and navigate the visa application system,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
The campaign is designed to make visa applicants aware of important facts. Canada wants all visa applicants to know:
Applying online will save time and money:
· They don’t need to spend extra money on an immigration consultant to apply.
· They can apply online from the comfort of their own home, and save an extra trip to the visa application centre.
· They can apply on their own, or if they need help, have a trusted friend or family member apply for them.
· A visitor visa application costs $100 CAD, which is a lot cheaper than applying with a consultant.
· There is no advantage to applying using a paper form or with a consultant. The same immigration officers make decisions on both online and paper visa applications.
Do not use an unauthorized immigration consultant:
· Many individuals who claim to be immigration consultants are not authorized to charge money for immigration advice, and take advantage of people by charging excessive fees.
· If an applicant needs a consultant’s help to apply for a visa, they should make sure that the consultant is authorized in Canada by checking if the consultant is registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.
· No consultant can guarantee a visa to Canada. Those who claim they can are not telling the truth and just want to take people’s money.
· Be aware of fraudulent consultants and common immigration scams.
Think twice before you reapply:
· If someone’s visa application has been refused, they should think twice before reapplying.
· They should only reapply if they are able to address the reasons why their original application was refused and can show how their previous circumstances have changed.
· Reapplying multiple times using the same information, with or without an immigration consultant, will not change the original decision. It will only cost more money and the applications will likely be refused again.
The campaign will include newspapers, radio, Facebook, and Google. Ads will be available in English, French, Punjabi and Hindi, and will run during June 2019.
Visit canada.ca/india-visa for more information on how to help a family member or friend in India apply for a visa, find an authorized immigration consultant, and protect yourself against fraud.
· In 2018, IRCC received 3.4 million temporary resident applications from India, a 79% increase from 1.9 million in 2013.
· Many of these applications were submitted by unauthorized immigration consultants. This is linked to an increase in fraudulent applications and higher refusal rates for visa applications from India.
· Immigration consultants are paid representatives who provide immigration advice, assist with filling out an application, or communicate with the Government of Canada on the applicant’s behalf.
· A consultant is authorized to provide such services if they are a member in good standing of the regulatory body that allows them to give advice and services related to immigration applications for a fee.
· Submitting false or misleading information (including the alteration of documents) can result in the applicant being banned from applying to come to Canada for up to 5 years.