How do you differentiate between original and fake Canada visa?
A visa is a very important travel document, if not the most important. It is an official travel document that allows the bearer or holder in whose name and identity it has been issued access to legally enter a foreign country. How Citizens of most countries require a Canada visa in order to travel to Canada. It is often stamped or glued into the holders passport. Without the visa a foreigner might not gain entry into another country, the visa is a government created and issued document that grants anyone who obtains it permission to enter its country or territory.
There are different types of visas which provides different types of entry routes into a country, these visas are differentiated by the requirements and procedures applicable to the routes for which they are created. Thus, to obtain a specific kind of visa one must meet the minimum requirements sets for such visa. Citizens of countries with visa exempt rules do not need visa to travel to Canada. Learn more via Canada eTA.
In this article
Authentic visa grants access
Visas are extremely delicate documents, in the sense that they are precise in their creation and characteristics, therefore, any abnormally can easily be spotted by a computerized system, it is therefore, important that a visa be authentic for it to be acceptable at the point of entry in a country or while boarding an airplane.
There are also cases by which a visa holder can be denied entry into a country of interest, one of such instances could be that the visa is fake or forged. This can have, and also imply severe legal and criminal consequences when discovered. The question begging for answer then is, how does one differentiate or spot the difference between a fake visa and an original visa?
Original Versus Fake Canada Visa – how to detect it
The Canadian visa is a legal document of the Canadian government. The fake visa agents often copy the content or designs of the original visa to trick the applicants. Here are important tips to check out to know whether or not your visa is real or fake.
- Look out for the font: Those who forge documents often at times make a mistake with the fonts making uneven and letters all over. whereas in the original visa the fonts are the same all over.
- Error In the French language: Most fake visa creators often do not have proper knowledge of the French language, they will clearly make some mistake whenever the French language is used in the document.
- Water Marked surname: Another way to check whether the visa is fake or not is with the help of a watermark. In the original document, the printed word ‘Surname’ on the visa, overrides the watermarked surname of an applicant. However, in the duplicate visa, this watermark is over the word ‘Surname’.
- Look out for the title ‘Canada’: There will be a little discrepancy in how the word Canada is written at the top centre of the document in the original and fake document.
Precaution is of course better than cure, so in addition to the tips for detecting fake Canadian temporary visa, the best way to be sure that a visa is original and authentic is to:
- Apply for it yourself through the government prescribed directory of country of interest, this is usually through the country’s embassy, consulate which issue visas, and / or other visa application centres;
- Use the country’s official immigration website for your visa application;
- If you used a reliable, recognized, government designated and register visa service provider;
Visas obtained through these processes are certain to be original.
Using Third Parties for Canada Visa Application
Should you intend to use a third party, such as travel agencies, and other intermediaries to process your visa, it might likely come out fake, the chance is 50/50. Nevertheless, to be sure, you can take the visa to the embassy or consulate of the country of interest for verification.
Visa application for most countries including Canada often take quite some process and time to obtain beginning from application, to application verification, document verification, processing and in some cases a call for interview at the embassy, if you go through these processes you can be sure that the visa is original and authentic. Also, a visa issued at the port of entry by a Canadian border officer is sure to be authentic.
Only visas issued by the authority of a country or one delegated with the authority of a country or territory to offer visa services is original, any other aside from these are most probably faked. It is a 50/50 probability of originality if gotten from a visa agency or employment agency in your country and a higher probability of falseness and forgery if gotten from the streets for a couple of bucks without any form of due process that accompanies a visa application.
Some countries like Australia no longer give physical or paper visas, the visa comes attached to your passport from the embassy, thus, there is a zero chance of it been faked or forge when obtain from the Australian embassy or consulate in your country, in this way it is either you have a visa or you don’t.
Another way to check if a visa is fake or not you can use the embassy’s visa application tracking system by imputing your passport details, the result of the check will tell you if your visa is original or fake. Below is a link to Canada visa application site, here you can check the status of your visa, its authenticity and progress. If your application is in paper and not electronic or online you can link your paper application to your account online an follow its progress and originality check.
Other ways to know if your Canada visa is fake or real
Unfortunately, many unsuspecting people have been caught in the scam and in possession of fake Canada visas around the world. The following a possible reasons why this is so:
- Inconsistent font use: In the original visa the words are all of the same font with no inconsistency in the letters printed. Nevertheless, in the fake visa you will notice inconsistent use of fonts and letters all over.
- Error in French words: The duplicate visa makers usually lack expertise in the use of French, especially if it is not a francophone country. Hence, you will often find mistakes in some key French words. On original Canadian visa, French words are also used for reference along with English, as French is also the official language in Canada. In fake visa, the French words are often mistaken and not properly used. For instance, in fake visa, there could be an error in Document No. printed in French as well as in English.
- Surname is Water Marked: In the original Visa, the printed word ‘Surname’ on the visa, overrides the watermarked surname. However, in the duplicate visa, this watermark is over the word printed ‘Surname’.
- Another way to check for the authenticity of your visa is to identify the title ‘Canada’: In the original Canada visa, at the top centre of the visa the title “Canada” is printed. The spacing below the title ‘Canada’s original visa is very less. On the other hand, in the fake or duplicate visa, you will notice quite a lot of spacing above and below the title ‘Canada’.
- If you paid a lot of money for it, it is probably fake.
- If it is a work permit? Did you start the application according to CIC work permit guide?
Work permit: About the process
- If it cost you anything more than CAD 155 as approved by the official Canada visa fee system for this category of visa, then its probably from an agent, and therefore, probably fake.
- Just like the Work Permit, every other category of Canada visas have a stipulated price or fee for their application and processing, if you paid anything more than the required official fee, it simply means you went through a third party, in which case there is every likelihood your visa might come out as fake.
- You got a visa? Your visa has a number – try login to IRCC website and see if it works.
- When you log in, you will see your visa if you applied through the appropriate authority. That is the official Canada Immigration website and you will be instantly notified of the status of your visa. This should be a proof enough of its authenticity.
However, and unfortunately, there have been cases of many persons who have been cheated out of a lot of money for “a job and a visa for Canada” because they were naive and unsuspecting. If you must get a Canada visa of any type go through the official authority. I.e. The IRCC online site, a Canadian embassy or High Commission in your country or a Canada Visa Application Centre.
Protecting yourself against Canada Visa Fraud
It is wise to protect yourself against fraud when dealing with visas and other travel document applied for. Do not be the victim of a scam by not paying attention or doing your due diligence when dealing with third party agents. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These scams can result in:
- identity theft;
- theft from your bank account or credit card and;
- computer viruses;
- Anyone who is guaranteeing you a job or a visa to Canada is probably out to scam you.
- Only Canada immigration officers in Canada, at Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates can decide to issue a visa.
- Processing fees are the same for all visa services in Canada and around the world.
- Fees in local currencies are based on official exchange rates.
- They’re the same amount as fees in Canadian dollars.
- You will be instructed to pay your fees for Canadian government services to the “Receiver General for Canada,” unless otherwise something different is stated on a visa office website.
- Canadian government immigration and VAC employees will never:
- ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account
- ask you to transfer money through private money transfer service
- threaten you
- offer special deals to people who want to immigrate or
- use free email services, such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo Mail to contact you
- You’ll find free application forms and guides for all Canada visa services on the official website.
- Also be careful if the salary of a job you are applying for seems too high to be real.
Be on the Look Out for Fake Websites and other Internet Scams
Should you need to apply for an eTA, be careful when you deal with companies, consultants and agents that claim to offer assistance to get one. These companies do not work for or with the Government of Canada. Many have websites where they charge a fee for information and for submission of eTA applications.
It is very easy for criminals to copy a real website or build one that looks professional. Be careful of websites that claims to be official Government of Canada sites or their partners. Others may claim to offer special immigration deals or guaranteed high-paying jobs or faster processing time. These are tricks they perform to scam people into paying them money. Others may try to get you to give them your private information. This could be used to steal your identity.Here are some more clues to watch out for:
- If the website claims to offer special deals to people who want to immigrate, don’t deal with them. Don’t pay for offers of guaranteed entry into Canada or faster processing of your application. These claims are false.
- Check the address in your browser’s address bar when you land on a website. It should match the address you typed.
Here are some other ways to protect yourself:
- Never enter private information unless there is a padlock in the browser window or “https://” at the beginning of the web address to show it is secure.
- If a website seems wrong to you, do a web search to see if anyone has reported any problems with that site.
- Make sure your browser is up-to-date. Browser filters can help detect fake websites.
- Beware of websites advertised in emails from strangers that you didn’t ask for.
- Don’t give out personal information unless you are sure you know whom you are dealing with.
- If in doubt, contact the website owner by telephone or email before you do anything.
- Find out more about who can legally represent you if you choose to hire a representative.
For more information of issues relating to how to spot a fake Canada visa, deal with fake and false websites and document, check CIC website or ask question in comment below.