The end of Canadian Passport Shopping?

Our federal government has made good on its promise from 2012 to end the days of bogus Canadian citizenship applications. I for one applaud these steps.

My parents and my wife’s family immigrated to Canada starting in the 1950’s. They settled in Canada, worked hard, married, raised families and made a life for themselves here. When able to do so, they each applied for and obtained their Canadian citizenship. They did so knowing full well that it meant a break from their previous life and that it represented the new life that they had come to Canada to pursue.

They did as so many others have done over the years – leaving behind their extended family, wrestling to overcome language barriers and learning the customs of a country foreign to them. They now enjoy fully the fruits of that labour, having all progressed into retirement.

If their nationality was ever queried by a stranger, as is normal given that English is a second language for them, each would say that they were Canadian and only then would advise of the country from which they had immigrated.

They did not come to Canada to obtain citizenship under false pretenses, thereby obtaining a Canadian passport and the ease of travel that accompanies such privileges. They did not return to their countries of origin shortly after arriving in Canada and thereafter falsely declare in their citizenship applications that they had been in Canada the entire time.

Such citizenship fraud is being investigated and prosecuted in Federal Court. Having proven that the citizenship application was fraudulently made, the rights associated with the privilege of citizenship are being stripped away.

The National Post recently reported on one such case:

Immigration lawyers are noting that investigation into this form of citizenship fraud has not been aggressively pursued in the past. This will not be the last such case that will be reported in the papers.

Paul H. Voorn, Business Litigation Lawyer