Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has announced that 3100 naturalized Canadians will be stripped of their citizenship, while at 11,000 others are still under investigation.
The minister maintains that these naturalized Canadians are citizens of convenience and have not fulfilled the basic residence requirements for naturalized Canadians.
While these people claimed permanent residency status, they failed to meet the mininum requirements. In order to obtain Canadian citizenship an individual must have a clean criminal record, speak one of the official languages (English or French) and have lived three of the last four years in Canada.
In many cases, those that did not meet the minimum residency requirements, were aided and abedded by immigration consultants for elabortate fees.
The bar for Canadian citizenship is not particularly high, but it should not be used for convenience. There are citizens in many trouble spots around the world that flee to Canada when living in their mother country is no longer tenable. As an example, Canadian taxpayers paid the cost for those Canadians that were evacuated from Lebanon and Libya.
According to the National Post, "anecdotal evidence suggests that a percentage of applicants from the Middle East obtain permanent resident status, then Canadian citizenship, with the goal of acquiring a second passport as insurance. Many permanent resident applicants are reluctant to leave the Gulf to settle in Canada permanently but want to obtain Permanent Resident status and citizenship for reasons of security"
While the problem may be more widespread than though just a year ago, where the government thought there were about 6,500 cases, the number being investigated and stripped of their citizenship is relatively small. Canada opens its doors to approximately 160,000 immigrants each year.
Canada needs immigrants and is a nation build on immigrants, but those that do not see the need to play by the rules are not deserving.alleges that immigration consultants have charged up to $25,000 per family for their service to defraud the Canadian government. The immigration consultants that aid in committing immigration fraud should be investigated and prosecuted with the full extend of the law.