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Nasoh Raslan, a man from Syria, was denied Canadian citizenship in 2008 after it was discovered that he was lying about where he lived in Canada. He said he was from Mississauga, but in reality he lived in Montreal and his appeal of the decision last week was denied
Raslan was found out by using two different apartment numbers in his addresses on immigration documents, as well as having submitted a phone number and address that was used by many other immigration applicants. Raslan has maintained he was told by an immigration consultant that by applying in Mississauga rather than Montreal, his application would be processed quicker
On Sunday Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney went as far to comment publicly on the case, which is extremely rare for Ministers to do. “Taking action on citizenship fraud is a priority for me and I have asked the department to look at what more can be done to address the issue,” he said.
Judge Francois Lemieux, who rejected Raslan’s appeal, said that Raslan “knowingly and willingly embarked on a course of conduct to deceive the citizenship court concerning his true residence in Canada.”
This case puts a name and a back story to one of the many immigrants looking for Canadian citizenship who were encouraged by shady immigration consultants to lie on their application forms. The province of Quebec had already taken steps in February to ensure that immigration consulting services can only be provided by lawyers, notaries or registered members of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, and the rest of Canada is currently toying with the idea of doing the same.
This story embodies the fact that even the smallest of fibs on important documents like applications for citizenship can have the ultimate price. And sometimes without intending it, missteps are taken in the application process including entering incorrect information which could be interprested as misprepresentation resulting in a refusal. It is therefore essential when preparing your Canadian citizenship application, to get it right and have it reviewed before sending it in!
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