Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney confirmed on Wednesday that as many as 1,800 new Canadians could be stripped of their citizenship because documents were fraudulently obtained, according to a report in the Toronto Star.
Kenney told the Economic Club of Canada that some of the individuals are believed to have used “unscrupulous” immigration consultants who submitted fraudulent applications on behalf of people who did not meet citizenship qualifications.
The 1,800 were homed in on following a three-year investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), other police forces and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Citizenship revocation is relatively uncommon in Canada with only 63 people being stripped of their citizenship since 1977, Kenney said, according to the Toronto Star.
Most were for reasons related to residence fraud, criminality and false identity, or concealing their involvement in war crimes.
“There are many ways that we are combating immigration fraud and abuse of our generosity, whether it is from [bogus] asylum claimants, crooked immigration consultants, people smugglers [or] people who are abusing our citizenship program,” he said, according to the Toronto Star.
The Minister also revealed that Canada will soon be introducing multi-year visas for low-risk visitors from around the world that will last 10 years.