Two Pakistanis charged in immigration fraud


Two Pakistani nationals have been charged with immigration fraud for allegedly providing false Canadian residency information on their citizenship application, police announced Friday.
Mukesh Maheshwari, 37, and Usha Bai, 33, are accused of using an “address of convenience” in Toronto on their applications in an attempt to mislead Canadian immigration officials into believing that they met residency requirements for Canadian citizenship, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement.
Permanent residents must acquire three years of residence out of four years to apply for Canadian citizenship. To retain their status as permanent residents, they must be physically present in Canada for two years out of five.
The charges come on the heels of a massive investigation into immigration fraud announced earlier this month by authorities that could see as many as 6,500 people from more than 100 countries stripped of their Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.
Most of the cases are reportedly linked to three immigration consultants in Halifax, Montreal and Toronto.
Prior to this year, only 67 citizenships had been revoked since the enactment of the Citizenship Act in 1947.
The two accused in this latest case face a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a CAN$1,000 fine if convicted.