Thursday, 13 September 2012

Now There's An Idea.

Cut immigration fraud with smart cards.

Consider this: There are thousands of Canadian passport holders in the Gulf States, the Middle East, India and Hong Kong alone who have never “lived” in Canada. How is this possible? After travelling abroad, PRs may enter Canada with little scrutiny. They do require a PR card, but it is not a smart card and it may or may not be swiped upon entry to Canada. Even if it is swiped, no photo appears on the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA)’s screen allowing them to determine whether the person trying to enter Canada is truly the individual listed on the card. 
Although it is mandatory to have a PR card to re-enter Canada as a permanent resident, it is not necessary to have one to leave the country. Thus, CIC has no way of monitoring the foreign travels of Canada’s PRs, and thereby determining whether they have fulfilled the requirements for citizenship (residing in Canada three years out of four) or retaining PR status (residing in Canada 730 days over a five-year period). Applications for citizenship or renewing PR cards are based on an honour system in which claims can be supported by leases, telephone bills and the like — documents that can be obtained even if the applicant does not actually live at the address listed.{...} 
To help remedy these problems, Ottawa should introduce a PR “smart card,” which would be mandatory for all PRs and would be swiped every time a PR left or returned to Canada. It would be a simple and low-tech solution, but it would work wonders in facilitating the enforcement of immigrant residency obligations — and in slashing the fraud that currently plagues our immigration system. 

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