Canada, UK And Australia Take Their Immigration Fraud Fight To Punjab


Immigration operation heads from Canada, UK an Australia told an immigration conference that only genuine visitors are welcome. They appealed to prospective immigrants from Punjab not to use unauthorised means to visit their countries.

CHANDIGARH – Showing their regional bias and in the process insulting the state of Punjab – Immigration operation heads from Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia took their patronizing immigration fraud fight to Punjab.

The heads appealed to prospective immigrants from Punjab not to use unauthorised means like taking help of unscrupulous travel agents to visit their countries.

“All three governments are united in combating immigration fraud,” Sidney Frank, Immigration, Canadian High Commission, announced. He was accompanied by Thomas Greig, Regional Director, K Border Agency, and Jose Alvarez, Minister-Counsellor, Immigration, Australian High Commission, New Delhi. Also present was Canadian Consul-General of Canada in Chandigarh Scot Slessor.

Their appeal comes purportedly in the wake of reports that several Punjab-based prospective visitors and immigrants. especially those living in rural areas, were being misled by unscrupulous agents in getting them visas to visit these countries.

“We welcome genuine visitors, students and workers to the UK. However, we will not tolerate abuse of our immigration system and have zero-tolerance towards (immigration) fraud,” UK Border Agency, Regional Director (South Asia), Thomas Greig told reporters here. “Crooked immigration agents often advise applicants to provide fake documents or enter into marriage of convenience,” said Sidney Frank, Canada’s Area Director for Immigration in South Asia.

“Do not be fooled. Your investment will be lost. You will be denied entry into Canada,” he said.

Canada, UK and Australia are favourite destinations for people of Punjab to visit as students or immigrants. Though representatives of these countries expressed concern over immigration frauds in Punjab, they refused to divulge any information on number of cases relating to abuse of the immigration system.

“We generally do not publicise the numbers,” said Jose Alvarez, Regional Director of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Maintaining that they had been involved in a number of efforts to crack down on unscrupulous immigration agents, the visiting officials said the purpose was not to reveal names or number of attempted frauds, but to create awareness among prospective immigrants.

They said that prospective applicants should not believe that “forged” documents were acceptable and that the decision of the visa officer could be influenced with money or other pressures.

“Many people are being cheated with job offers overseas that do not exist. Stop and think before your hand over your money, passport and personal details. If the job offers sounds too good to be true, it could be a scam.

“Crooked immigration agents often advise applicants to provide fake documentation or enter into marriages of convenience,” said Sidney Frank. “Don’t be fooled. Your investment will be lost, you will be caught and will be denied entry to Canada.”