On 17th June 2019, Canada announced an information campaign in India directed towards creating awareness amongst temporary resident visa applicants. The campaign will focus on disseminating information that can help applicants identify the correct Canada visa pathway, save their resources and be wary of fraudulent practices in the industry.

In 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – the federal immigration authority – received 3.4 million applications for temporary residence from India. This marks a 79% increase in the volume of applications, in comparison to 2013 figures (1.9 million). 279,000 Indians visited Canada last year by obtaining the Canada visitor visa – a number that is forecasted to increase in the coming years. As per the Canadian government, the number of unauthorised immigration consultants indulging in illegitimate practices to mislead applicants has increased, resulting in a higher rate of rejection for fraudulent applications.

In light of this trend, Canadian authorities have emphasised the importance of only hiring authorised immigration consultants who are qualified to represent the applicant and provide legitimate guidance. An immigration consultant is a member in good standing of the relevant regulatory body, who is authorised to provide guidance and assistance in the Canada visa application process, and communicate with the Canadian Government on behalf of the applicant. A candidate who submits false or misleading documents can be banned from applying for a Canadian visa for up to 5 years.

The following advice has been issued to prospective applicants:

  • It is not mandatory to seek the services of Canada immigration consultants while applying for a visa. Applying online is an economical option. The Canada visitor visa fee is $100 CAD, which is cheaper than the fee charged by consultants. Applying through a paper-based process is also not advantageous.
  • An applicant seeking the services of an immigration consultant must ensure that the consultant is registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. A consultant cannot guarantee that the visa application will be successful. Beware of fraudulent consultants and immigration scams.
  • A refused visa application should not be re-applied, unless the applicant can address the reasons for rejection, and showcase that their circumstances have changed since the original application was refused. Re-applying repeatedly using the same information cannot influence the original decision.

These guidelines and recommendations should be closely observed while exploring and pursuing Canada visa options. The information campaign will run during June 2019 – through newspapers, Facebook, radio, and Google in English, Hindi, Punjabi, and French.

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