Auditor-General Michael Ferguson called out the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) in his latest report. Ferguson’s findings tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons detailed a lot of cracks which left the system open to fraud.
“We found that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada did not consistently apply its own methods to identify and prevent fraud during the citizenship application process,” Ferguson wrote. Ferguson looked at the processes for checking for problem addresses- addresses associated with ongoing fraud investigations.
I.R.C.C. Minister John McCallum released a statement responding to the report. McCallum accepted the recommendations. “Bill C-6 would improve the citizenship Act by giving citizenship officers the authority to seize fraudulent documents,” he said.
Bill C-6 was announced earlier this year. This legislation would cease the practise of revoking citizenship people convicted of crimes. It would also give foreign students, and temporary foreign workers 50% credit towards their landed immigrant status if they choose to stay in Canada. It is designed to replace the Conservatives’ Bill C-24 which tightened language requirements and increased the application fee to $500 as of January 1, 2015.
“We have thoroughly reviewed all cases flagged by the Office of the Auditor General to determine if citizenship fraud may have occurred,” McCallum said. As a result the Ministry has opened 12 investigations. As of January, 2016 approximately 700 cases are in the process of being reviewed. Bill C-6 is being reviewed by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.