Immigration is a difficult decision that must be taken carefully and is a highly complex procedure. The last thing you want is to discover that you have a fraudulent Canada visa after putting so much work into the application process and spending so much money on immigration experts handling your case and application fees.
Therefore, continue reading the post to learn how to use a step-by-step approach to determine whether a Canada visa is authentic or fraudulent.
How do you differentiate between an original and a fake Canada visa?
A visa is a crucial travel document, if not the most important. It is an official travel document that allows the bearer or holder whose name and identity it has been issued access to enter a foreign country legally. However, Citizens of most countries require a Canadian visa to travel to Canada. It is often stamped or glued into the holder’s passport; without a visa, a foreigner might not gain entry into another country. It is a government-created and issued document that grants anyone who obtains it permission to enter its country or territory.
Different types of visas provide various types of entry routes into a country. These visas are differentiated by the requirements and procedures applicable to their created routes. Thus, one must meet the minimum standards for such a visa to obtain a specific kind of visa. For example, citizens of countries with visa-exempt rules do not need a visa to travel to Canada.
Learn more via Canada eTA.
Authentic visa grants access
Visas are highly delicate documents that are precise in their creation and characteristics. Therefore, any abnormality can easily be spotted by a computerized system. Therefore, a visa must be authentic for it to be acceptable at the point of entry into 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 instance 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 an 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. However, fake visa agents often copy the content or designs of the original visa to trick the applicants. Here are essential 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 make mistakes 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 make mistakes whenever the French language is used in the document.
- Watermarked 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, this watermark is over the word ‘Surname’ in the duplicate visa.
- Look out for the title ‘Canada’: There will be a little discrepancy in how the word Canada is written at the top center of the document in the original and fake document.
Precaution is, of course, always better, so in addition to the tips for detecting fake Canadian temporary visas, 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 the country of interest.
- This is usually through the country’s embassy or consulate, which issues visas, and other visa application centers;
- Use the country’s official immigration website for your visa application;
- If you used a reliable, recognized, government-designated, and registered visa service provider,
Visas obtained through these processes are sure to be original.
Using Third Parties for Canada Visa Application
It might likely come out fake if you intend to use a third party, such as travel agencies and other intermediaries, to process your visa. 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 applications 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 an interview at the embassy. However, if you go through these processes, you can be sure the visa is original and authentic. Also, a visa issued at the port of entry by a Canadian border officer is sure to be accurate.
- Only visas issued by the authority of a country or one delegated with the authority of a country or territory to offer visa services are original. Any other aside from these are most probably fake. 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 obtained from the streets for a couple of bucks without any form of due process accompanying a visa application.
- Some countries like Australia no longer give physical or paper visas. Instead, the visa comes attached to your passport from the embassy. Thus, there is zero chance of it being fake or forged when obtained from the Australian embassy or consulate in your country. In this way, you have a visa, or you don’t.
- Another way to check if a visa is fake or not is to use the embassy’s visa application tracking system by imputing your passport details. The check result will tell you if your visa is original or fake. Below is a link to the Canada visa application site. Here, you can check the status of your visa, its authenticity, and its progress. If your application is in paper and not electronic or online, you can link your paper application to your account online and 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 possess fake Canada visas worldwide. The following possible reasons why this is so:
- It is probably fake if you paid a lot of money for it.
- If it is a work permit? Did you start the application according to the CIC work permit guide?
- Work permit: About the process
- If it costs you more than CAD 155, as approved by the official Canada visa fee system for this visa category, then it is probably from an agent and, therefore, probably fake.
- Like the Work Permit, every other category of Canadian visa has 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.
- Your visa has a number – try logging into the 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 your visa status. This should be proof enough of its authenticity.
However, 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. Therefore, if you must get a Canada visa of any type, go through the official authority. For example, the IRCC online site is 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 documents. 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 guarantees you a job or a visa to Canada is probably out to scam you.
- Only Canadian 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 worldwide.
- 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 a 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 job salary you are applying for seems too high to be authentic.
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 claiming assistance to get one. These companies do not work for or with the Government of Canada. In addition, many websites charge a fee for information and submission of eTA applications.
It is straightforward for criminals to copy a real website or build one that looks professional. Be careful of websites that claim to be official Government of Canada sites or their partners. Others may claim to offer special immigration deals 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 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 hire a representative.
For more information on how to spot a fake Canada visa and deal with fake and false websites and documents, check the CIC website or ask a question in the comment below.