Scammers Target Canadian Tourist Visa Applicants

September 12, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

As one of the most prominent immigration destinations in the world, Canada has consequently become an unfortunate target of many scammers looking to capitalize on the lucrative trade and demand for immigration consultancy services. Among the most common scams perpetrated target Canada tourist visa applicants, who are among the most common and numerous newcomers to Canada.

Want to visit Canada as a tourist but are wary of scammers? Here is a list of the common ways to identify a Canada Tourist Visa Scam and the reasons why Scammers Target Canadian Tourist Visa Applicants!

How To Identify a Canada Tourist Visa Scam

Applying for a Canadian tourist visa can be an exciting process if you are planning to explore the beauty of Canada. However, scammers are always on the lookout for unsuspecting applicants to exploit. It is crucial to be aware of the warning signs and know how to identify a Canada tourist visa scam. Here are a few aspects to watch out for to protect yourself from immigration fraud in Canada.

French Word Errors

One of the first red flags is French word errors. Canada's official language is English and French, and all official documents, including visas, are typically bilingual. Scammers often make mistakes when translating English content into French.

With this in mind, look out for:

  • Grammar errors
  • Misspellings
  • Faux Amis
  • Improper use of idioms, metaphors and other figurative language

Legitimate visas will have accurate and professional French translations, so any errors could indicate a Canada tourist visa scam.

Font Check

Another important aspect is the font on your Canada tourist visa. Genuine visas use a specific font throughout the document. Scammers may not have access to the correct font approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This will result in inconsistencies in the appearance of the Canada tourist visa. Pay attention to any variations in the:

  • Font size
  • Style
  • Line Spacing
  • Typeface

If you spot any of the inconsistencies above, it could be an indication that you’ve become a victim of a fraudulent Canada tourist visa scam.

No Watermarked Surname on Your Canada Tourist Visa

Legitimate Canada tourist visas have a watermark of your surname on each page. This security feature ensures that a Canada visa is not easily tampered with or counterfeited. Scammers often overlook this detail and may provide you with a Canada tourist visa without the watermark. Always check for the presence of the watermark on each page of your Canada tourist visa to verify its authenticity.

Errors in the Layout of the Canada Tourist Visa

The layout of a genuine Canada tourist visa follows a specific format set by the IRCC. Scammers may not pay attention to the details or have access to the correct layout. A standard Canada tourist visa layout has the following authenticating detail:

  • English and French language entries
  • Category (Multiple or single)
  • Passport nr
  • C. REC
  • CBN
  • Watermarked background

Look for any deviations from the standard layout, such as:

  • Misaligned text
  • Incorrect spacing
  • Missing sections
  • Lack of Canadian Government Icons

These irregularities could indicate that you received a fraudulent Canada tourist visa.

No Canada Visa Number Registration

Every legitimate Canada tourist visa is assigned a unique Canada visa number upon approval. This visa number is an essential identifier for immigration authorities and is used for verification and authentication.

Scammers may provide you with a Canada tourist visa without a registered Canada visa number. Always ensure your Canada tourist visa contains a valid and registered visa number.

No Specified Expiration Date on the Canada Tourist Visa

Legitimate Canada tourist visas have a specified expiration date. This date indicates the duration of your authorized stay in Canada as a tourist. Always check for the presence of a specified expiration date on your visa.

If you can’t find a specified expiration date or text indicating how long your Canada tourist visa is valid, you may have an inauthentic Canada tourist visa.

Check For Errors or Mistakes

Lastly, carefully review your Canada tourist visa for any errors or mistakes. This includes spelling errors, incorrect dates, and any other inconsistencies that can give away the fraudulent nature of the visa.

Take your time to thoroughly examine every detail on your Canada tourist visa and compare it to the official guidelines provided by the IRCC.

Why Scammers Target Canadian Tourist Visa Applicants?

Scammers target Canadian tourist visa applicants for several reasons. Understanding these motivations can help you stay vigilant and protect yourself from falling victim to immigration fraud in Canada. Let's look at some common reasons scammers target Canadian tourist visa applicants.

Demand for Canada Tourist Visa Application Processing Times

Canada is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions yearly visitors. The demand for Canadian tourist visas is high, and the processing times can be lengthy. Scammers take advantage of this situation by offering expedited Canada application visa processing services for a fee.

However, these services are often scams, and applicants lose their money without receiving a valid Canada tourist visa. Approach any offer of expedited application processing times with caution and suspicion.

Lack of Knowledge About Canada’s Immigration System

Many individuals applying for a Canadian tourist visa may have limited knowledge about Canada's immigration system. Scammers exploit this lack of knowledge by providing false and misleading information to applicants, leading many to fall prey to their fraudulent activities.

Be wary of any sure claims made by immigration consultants such as having insider connections or special influence over Canada’s visa application process.

Exploit Desperate Canada Tourist Visa Applicants

Many Canada visa applicants may be desperate to obtain a Canada tourist visa due to personal circumstances or aspirations. This desperation is preyed on by scammers who promise higher chances of the success of your application.

Desperate applicants are more susceptible to emotional manipulation, which scammers use to extract money or personal information. Be cautious and reserved when it comes to giving away your personal information to avoid any possible attempts at emotional persuasion and manipulation by possible scammers.

What Other Common Canada Immigration Scams Should You Know About?

While scammers often target Canadian tourist visa applicants, they are also involved in other immigration scams. Being aware of these common scams can help you protect yourself.

Fake Canada Job Offer Letter Scams

Job opportunities in Canada are highly sought after, and scammers take advantage of this by offering fake job offer letters. Be cautious when dealing with immigration consultants who claim to have connections with Canadian employers and promise employment opportunities in Canada for a fee. No legitimate job offer will seek to solicit money from you.

Find out more about the valid process of how to land a job offer in Canada.

Canada Express Entry Draw Scams

Canada's Express Entry system is a popular immigration pathway for skilled workers. Scammers like impersonating the IRCC and inviting individuals to participate in fake Express Entry draws. In the process, they may ask you to provide them with sensitive personal information which they can exploit for monetary gain.

It is crucial to trust official government websites and channels for Express Entry information and applications.

Canada Immigration Telephone Scams

Scammers often use telephone calls to target individuals seeking information or assistance with their Canadian immigration visa applications. They may pose as immigration officers or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) and ask for payment for their services.

Please note that Canadian immigration authorities will never ask for payment over the phone. Always try to verify the identity of the caller and report any suspicious calls to the appropriate authorities.

Canada Fake Immigration Company Scams

Fake immigration companies operate by offering immigration services and charging exorbitant fees. They may claim to have expertise in Canadian immigration and promise guaranteed results.

These companies are often fraudulent and provide little to no assistance with the Canada visa application process. Always conduct thorough research to ensure you choose verifiable immigration consultants or immigration lawyers when seeking professional immigration assistance.

Find out more about how to tell if an immigration Agency is real or fake.

Guaranteed Canada Visa Scams

Some Scammers often make claims that they can guarantee the success of your Canada visa application. No legitimate immigration consultancy service can guarantee the success of your Canada visa application because none influence the IRCC application selection process.

Guaranteed Canada Visa scammers often disappear after receiving payment, leaving applicants with empty promises and no visa.

Fake Canada Study Permit

Canada is a popular destination for international students, and scammers target individuals seeking study permits. They may offer fraudulent study permit services, promising quick processing and guaranteed approval.

It is crucial to only apply for study permits through official government channels and verify any educational institution's authenticity before proceeding with any payments.

Learn more about the Canadian student visa.

Fraudulent Canada Refugee Claims

Vulnerable individuals seeking refuge in Canada are often the target of scammers offering fraudulent refugee claim services. They promise to expedite the application process or increase the chances of your approval in exchange for payment. Only seek legal assistance from verifiable immigration lawyers or refugee organizations when you pursue a refugee claim.

Remember to stay vigilant and informed and rely only on legitimate channels when applying for a Canadian tourist visa.


What Can You do to Report a Fake Immigration Agency When You Encounter It?

If you encounter a fake immigration agency, it is essential to report it to the appropriate authorities. Here are the steps you can take to report a fake immigration agency:

Gather all Relevant Information

Collect any evidence, documents, or communication related to the fake immigration agency.

Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Report the fake immigration agency to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They specialize in handling fraud-related matters and can guide you on the appropriate actions.

Notify the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Inform the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) about the fake immigration agency and provide them with all the relevant information you have gathered.

Seek Legal Advice

Consult a lawyer specializing in immigration law to understand your rights and explore any legal recourse available to you.

What is Document Fraud and How Does it Relate to Canadian Tourist Visa Applications?

Document fraud can involve either false or altered documents. This includes documents such as:

  • Passports and travel documents
  • Canada Visas
  • Diplomas
  • Degrees and other educational qualifications

Document fraud is a serious offense and can result in you being barred from entering Canada.