CBC reporters recently went undercover to take a look at the incredibly lucrative recruitment agency industry in Atlantic Canada, where they are charging almost PhP 7 million per person for fake jobs that will get them permanent residency.
Illegal recruiters are telling foreign nationals that if you want to go to Canada, the Atlantic provinces are the easiest way to go.
This includes the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
If you want an easy way to go to Canada, these illegal recruiters will be happy to take your money.
The CBC interviewed immigration consultants and lawyers, as well as a recruitment agency that openly claimed to know how to break the rules without getting caught.
Their investigation found that such immigration fraud was widespread in the Atlantic provinces.
Those interviewed by the CBC claimed that a lot of people have gained permanent residency in such a fraudulent manner, taking advantage of Canada’s complex immigration system.
Recruitment agencies work with Canadian employers to take advantage of loopholes in the government’s system, oftentimes charging incredible amounts of money from people desperate to start a new life in Canada.
Oftentimes, recruitment agencies collect their fees through money transfer services such as Western Union to avoid detection by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Recruitment agencies tell their clients not to divulge any information of such backroom deals to the Canadian government.
RECRUITMENT AGENCIES TARGET ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM
Illegal recruiters have been taking advantage of the government’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AINP), which was launched in 2017.
The AINP is used by provincial governments to address their labour shortages.
The AINP proved popular because it was one of the few programs that allowed foreign nationals to become permanent residents of Canada in as little as 6 months.
The federal and provincial governments of Canada are not involved in the recruitment process, which the CBC found allowed enterprising recruitment agencies to take advantage of the program.
RECRUITMENT AGENCIES MAKING MONEY HAND OVER FIST SELLING FAKE JOBS
The way the scheme works is this: recruitment agencies collect money from foreign nationals who want to be permanent residents of Canada. These agencies work with Canadian employers to facilitate the paperwork on their end, with no intention to ever hire the foreign national.
The foreign national then goes to Canada and becomes a permanent resident, with no intention of ever staying in Atlantic Canada or wirking for the Canadian Employer on record.
CBC GOES UNDERCOVER TO EXPOSE ILLEGAL RECRUITER
CBC reporters went undercover in Toronto and spoke to WonHonTa Immigration Service, a recruitment agency catering to Chinese nationals.
WonHonTa Immigration Service used social media channels such as WeChat to promote their services.
Basically, their services involve foreigners paying the recruitment agency for fake jobs in Canada. Included in the payment is a guarantee of permanent residency.
The recruitment agency uses a complex system of remittance in order to avoid paying taxes. The agency also processed employment documents, when needed for the permanent residency application.
The undercover CBC reporters were offered a job in Halifax working at a daycare, in exchange for CAD170,000.
CANADIAN EMPLOYERS DENY ANY WRONGDOING
CBC reporters contacted the daycare in Halifax, which denied any wrongdoing.
The daycare admitted to hiring a foreign national who was already in Canada with an Open Work Permit, but denied any involvement in such illegal recruitment activities.
The owners of the daycare are thinking that the illegal recruiters are using their business names, which are available to the public.
IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS BUSY WITH PEOPLE LOOKING FOR FAKE JOBS
Foreign nationals aren’t even pretending anymore. An immigration consultant that the CBC spoke with said that people are calling everyday looking for fake jobs that will grant them permanent residency.
Immigration consultants that play by the rules are hurt by those that don’t, often making incredible amounts of money from foreigners desperate to come to Canada.
IT’S LIKE WINNING THE LOTTERY
Immigrating to Canada is like winning the lottery for a lot of foreigners.
The AINP allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers directly. It’s been taken advantage of because the program has lower education and language proficiency requirements than other programs.
Illegal recruiters have found that foreign workers are willing to pay big money for the chance to become permanent residents of Canada.
RECRUITMENT AGENCIES WORKING WITH FAKE EMPLOYERS
The CBC found that recruitment agencies are targeting Canadian Employers in Nova Scotia, offering free recruitment services.
Instead of charging Canadian Employers for their services, recruitment agencies charge foreign workers.
Once the foreign workers arrive in Canada, they often move to other provinces like Ontario, where jobs are easier to come by.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS CONCERNED ABOUT IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS
Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration spoke with the CBC, saying that while they will not discuss what measures they have in place to prevent immigration fraud, they do have safeguards in place.
New Brunswick’s Department of Labour also told the CBC is likewise aware of immigration fraud, and have taken steps to curb illegal recruitment in their province.
Prince Edward Island’s government told the CBC that a new compliance and program integrity position has been created to safeguard the integrity of the program.
FOREIGN RECRUITMENT AGENCIES PARTNERING WITH CANADIAN IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS TO CHARGE FOR FAKE JOBS
Foreign recruitment agencies based out of Canada are actively looking for immigration consultants and lawyers who are knowledgable about Canada’s immigration programs.
Immigration lawyers who spoke to the CBC say that these unscrupulous immigration consultants work with foreign recruitment agencies to take advantage of the Government of Canada’s failure to examine how its immigration programs are marketed to prospective immigrants around the world.
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