Rampant fraud is resulting in record number of Indian visitor-visas being rejected. Rising fraud and misrepresentation as a result of unscrupulous “ghost consultants” has been blamed for this sorry state of affairs.
Data provided by the federal government shows that fraudulent submissions has nearly tripled. In 2017, 0.9 per cent of all Indian visitor-visa rejections were for misrepresentation; from January to May this year, the number jumped to 2.5 per cent.
In response to the increasing number of refusals for Indian applications, the federal government rolled out an information campaign in June targeting Indians applying for visas.
Sections highlighted include the following:
• Unauthorized representatives
If you give an immigration agent (consultant, lawyer or Quebec notary) money for their services, they’re considered a paid representative and must be authorized.
• Document fraud and misrepresentation
It’s illegal to provide false information on your application, even if an immigration agent tells you to do so.
• How to report fraud
Get help if you’ve been the victim of fraud or a scam and report it to the authorities.
• Protect yourself against fraud
Is a representative telling you they can guarantee your visa will be approved, or that they can fast-track it? No one can guarantee you a visa: protect yourself from fraud.
There is evidence to suggest that visa applicants are in on the fraud as they part with large sums of money to procure paperwork required to get a visa in the first place, if not a fake visa.
Just this April it was reported that six persons have been arrested in Chandigarh, including an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) coach, in connection with fake immigration stamps, the police said on Sunday. They claim to have seized 62 passports from their possession. One person would affix fake immigration stamps of various countries on the passports to create a fake travel history as this assisted in procuring a visa from the embassy concerned, the police said.
Fake bank stamps were used by them to create fake bank account statements.
There are well over 700 immigration consultants in Chandigarh alone and a good number of them are not registered. A cottage industry creating fake documents and letters has been flourishing for years and there is evidence to suggest that thousands of visitors to western countries, notably Canada, have slipped through undetected. -CINEWS