Immigration Fraud and Scams

Immigration fraud is a serious crime and can take many forms. The information on this page is for everyone and not just for BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) applicants. If you suspect or know about immigration fraud and scams happening, please read the following information.
 

Topics on this page:

How to report fraud and scams

The following information outlines how to report immigration fraud and scams.  

Cases not directly related to the BC PNP should be sent to the appropriate agency for investigation as indicated below. 
 

Email, telephone, internet scams

Email, telephone and internet scammers can be very convincing. They will use all kinds of tactics to try and defraud you of your personal information or money. In many cases, scammers will send emails that appear legitimate and official, even using government logos.

Canadian federal and provincial governments do not have special agreements with private companies to get jobs or visas on your behalf.

Only the Canadian federal government can approve and issue documents that confirm immigration status in Canada.

Please report email, telephone, and internet scams, as well as financial losses (suspected or confirmed) due to fraud, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: Examples of email, telephone, and internet scams include:
  • emails asking you to confirm receipt by “responding immediately” and by responding, they will then send you a second email promising more information and lots of benefits
  • emails telling you that you were selected or chosen through an “electronic ballot system” for resettlement in Canada
  • emails, phone calls or websites that ask you to send personal information, money or prepaid gift card numbers, or scans of your photos and passports
  • emails, phone calls or websites giving you a “guaranteed” visa or nomination
If you are unsure whether an email, a telephone call, or a website is a scam, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre will be able to help you make that determination.  
 

Immigration fraud in Canada

If you have information about immigration fraud in Canada, and this fraud is not directly related to the BC PNP, please report this information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): Examples of immigration fraud in Canada include:
  • people who have overstayed their status in Canada
  • people who are working or studying in Canada without authorization
  • people wanted on an immigration warrant
  • people who have entered Canada based on misrepresentation, or who have made a false declaration or document fraud

Canadian citizenship fraud

If you have information about Canadian citizenship fraud, please report this information to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): Examples of Canadian citizenship fraud include:
  • people who pretended to live in Canada to become a citizen
  • people who hid information about their Canadian citizenship case

BC PNP Fraud

If you have information about fraud directly related to BC PNP applications or processes, please email the BC PNP Please provide as many details as possible so we can take the correct action. These details may include the names of the people participating in the alleged fraud, as well as case reference numbers. 

The BC PNP will keep your identity confidential. If required, the information that you provide may be shared with other parties (such as IRCC or CBSA) in the course of legal investigation or enforcement action. All the information you provide is handled in compliance with applicable legislation, including FOIPPA and PIPA.  

Examples of fraud directly related to the BC PNP include:
  • fake job offers created by immigration representatives, employers, or applicants
  • fake or fraudulent documents submitted with a BC PNP application
  • applicants who lie about (misrepresent) their work experience
  • lying about investment amounts for Entrepreneur Immigration applications

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) fraud

If you have information about LMIA fraud, you can contact the National Investigative Services, Integrity Services Branch of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) through Service Canada:

How to file a complaint

Complaints regarding an employer 

If you want to file a complaint against an employer in B.C., you can contact the Employment Standards Branch (ESB):

Complaints regarding an immigration consultant

If you want to file a complaint against an immigration consultant, you can contact the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC):             

Complaints regarding an immigration lawyer or notary

If you want to file a complaint against an immigration lawyer or notary, you can contact the law society in their province or territory:  If any of these complaints or reports are also directly related to a BC PNP application, please also email this information to us at PNP.fraud.tips@gov.bc.ca.
 

BC PNP penalty for misrepresentation

Anyone who is connected to a BC PNP application who lies, embellishes, exaggerates, or intentionally leaves out information is participating in misrepresentation and committing fraud. This includes applicants, employers, consultants, and/or lawyers. 

As an applicant, you are responsible for all the information in your BC PNP application. Even if your immigration representative completes it for you, you are responsible for the information. 

Examples of fraud include:
  • taking part in a fake job offer scheme
  • lying about your work history
  • submitting fake or altered documents
Under our legislation, the BC PNP may refuse to accept applications for a period of up to 2 years from an applicant and/or an employer who has participated in misrepresentation or fraud relating to their BC PNP application.

Provincial Immigration Programs Act (PIPA):
http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/15037

Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation (PIPR):
http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/lc/statreg/20_2017
 

Deciding to use the services of an immigration representative

You do not need a representative to apply for immigration. If you choose to have a representative, please read our Using a Representative page for more information. Representatives can be paid or unpaid.

Unpaid representatives may include family members, friends, members of a non-governmental or religious organization, even immigration consultants or lawyers. Unpaid representatives do not charge fees or receive any other compensation or benefit for providing immigration advice or related services.
 
If you choose to hire and pay for a representative, you can find immigration consultants who are full members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council on their website. You can also find lawyers who are members in good standing of the Law Society of BC or another Canadian Law Society, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, or the Chambre des notaires du Quebec on their respective websites.
 

Be aware of dishonest representatives

Some licensed or unlicensed consultants are dishonest. Unlicensed consultants are sometimes called 'ghost consultants'. A dishonest consultant may ask you to keep your relationship with them secret from the BC PNP or the Canadian government. A dishonest consultant may provide you with fake documents, information, or jobs in exchange for money. These tactics may result in your application being refused. 
 
If you choose to use the help of a representative, you must tell us in your application. You must tell us even if the representative is unpaid. If you do not disclose this relationship, it may lead to your application being refused.
 
As well as providing your representative’s contact details, you must provide your personal email address so you can also receive all correspondence from us.
 
If you do not provide your personal email address, you may not receive critical legal correspondence from the BC PNP.
 
In British Columbia, it is illegal to buy jobs. It is illegal for anyone to ask you for money in exchange for a job.
 
No one can 'guarantee' you a job, a provincial nomination, or immigration to Canada.
 

BC PNP fees

If you are being charged a significant amount for the services of an immigration representative, you may wish to take note of the following BC PNP fees: 

  • Registration for the Skills Immigration stream:  No fee
  • Application for the Skills Immigration stream:  $1,150 CAD
  • Registration for the Entrepreneur Immigration stream:  $300 CAD
  • Application for the Entrepreneur Immigration stream:  $3,500 CAD
For more information on fees, please visit our BC PNP Fees page.