Proposed Bill C-24 to strengthen the Canadian Citizenship Act
Chris Alexander, Citizenship and Immigration Minister of Canada reiterated that the government is committed to deal with citizenship fraud through the recommended measures in Bill C-24, the ‘Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act’.
When the new law comes into force, the government will have the authority to develop a set of laws to select a regulatory body. This body will be allowed to act as an official consultant on the matters of citizenship. This change in the law will be helpful for genuine applicants and put an end to mediator fraud.
Bill C 24 strengthens the importance of citizenship and cracks down on acts of fraud and makes certain that Canadian citizenship is available only to those who abide by the rules. Some of the proposed measures are:
· Strict punishments for misrepresentation and fraud (a maximum of penalty of $100,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment)
· Extending the grounds to take cognizance of alien criminality in a citizenship application so as to enhance the program’s integrity.
· Making it an illegal act if an unauthorized person is intentionally advising or representing a candidate on a citizenship application.
RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) had conducted an inquiry into large-scale fraud and has recognized over 5,000 permanent residents and 3,00 citizens connected to major investigations, most of which were linked to residence.
Moreover, almost 2,000 candidates who were linked with fraud brought into the open by investigations pertaining to citizenship applications have withdrawn their applications.
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