James Metcalfe - Director of ImmigrationJim Metcalfe – Pace Immigration – The CBC has exposed another immigration scam. This time, scam artists are offering money to employers and, in turn, the employers are supposed to offer a new immigrant a job. Doing this will allow someone to enter the country “legally”:

Last month, a man named Bill Sui dropped by Fabricland in Prince Albert and told owner Barb Reid his company was looking for Canadian jobs to offer to Chinese people wanting to immigrate.

According to Reid, Sui told her his immigration consulting company, Vstar International, would pay the salary and benefits of a would-be Chinese immigrant for three months of work if she simply provided a job offer.

As an extra incentive, he offered to pay Reid $15,000 in cash. He called it a “training fee.”

The job offer is key, because having an offer of employment greatly speeds the way for someone to enter Canada and become a permanent resident. The Express Entry program gives a lot of points for having such a job offer.

Express Entry Scammers

It’s really no surprise that scammers have caught on to how valuable a job offer might be on the black market. I recently had an inquiry from a student who had had a three-year work permit. Unfortunately for her, after graduation she had partied her three years away with no substantial job experience which would allow her to qualify for permanent resident status under the Express Entry program.

Then lo and behold, she was offered a job as an Assistant Manager of a convenience store in rural Alberta. She was offered the opportunity to fill the position and hopefully qualify for PR status in Canada…for $25,000. She wanted to know if we could assist her. We declined.

We have seen other similar situations and have taken a pass on them. In fact, I am mildly amused at the “shock” expressed by some of the legal eagles in the CBC article. Immigration scams are not new, and offers of employment have been a commodity on the black market for a long time. This does not means I shrug it off, however. I often ask myself what this underground market is doing to the credibility of the immigration system. It can’t be good for Canada to have people offering bribes all over the country in the hopes of importing unqualified people.

Oversight Needed

The problem is that too few applicants are interviewed, and their credentials and skills are not being assessed by visa officers. A simple five minute interview would likely be enough to expose most fraudsters. In my own experience as a visa officer, looking at a person’s hands was enough to tell me if they were really the mechanic or the chef they claimed to be. A few questions more was enough to trip them up.

The government needs to crack down on these work visa scams now, before the entire Express Entry program is seen as compromised.