Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Nairobi agents conning Kenyans up to Sh. 600,000 for Canadian visit visas

Desperate Kenyans seeking Canadian visit visas are being scammed up to Sh. 600,000 by unlicensed Nairobi agents.

This has emerged as dozens of Kenyans who applied for Canadian visas through unlicensed agents get banned for up to five years for going against the regulations set by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Apart from the ordinary refusals from applicants who fail to satisfy the eligibility criteria set by the IRCC, many Kenyan applicants are getting banned because their Nairobi agents submitted fake documents including fake bank statements.

“The agent who did apply for used a fake eco bank statement. I personally don’t have an account with eco bank. Someone help me on how to go about this before I get a ban,” an applicant stated.

Nairobi agents conning Kenyans up to Sh. 600,000 for Canadian visit visas
The IRCC procedural fairness letter sent to an applicant whose agent in Nairobi submitted a fake Ecobank Account statement.

A spot check by Bizna Kenya reveals that desperate Kenyans are being charged between Sh. 180 and Sh. 600,000 by agents for the visit visas applications. Some agents are also lying that they have job and host connections for applicants.

However, those who have skirted through the immigration system and received visas are only given visitor visas and advised by their agents to seek asylum upon landing in Canada.

“My agent told me that a host would receive me in Canada once I landed. But there was no one to pick me up when I arrived at Pearson (International Airport in Toronto, Canada). My only option was to seek for asylum. I opted to return back,” a Kenyan whose application was handled by a popular agent in Nairobi said.

She revealed that learned about the agent on social media platform, TikTok. She was charged Sh. 400,000.

Apart from bans, the IRCC is issuing dozens of procedural fairness letters (PFLs) to applicants whose Canadian visit visas were applied by Nairobi agents.

Currently, there is no agent located in Kenya who is licensed to conduct immigration business by the IRCC. However, there are two Kenyans who reside in Canada who are licensed by the IRCC as immigration consultants.

The two are Loise Githiga whose licensed immigration firm is known as Milele Immigration Services and Mbula Kalorina whose licensed immigration firm is known as Makland Canadian Immigration Services.

The IRCC procedural fairness letters are giving applicants seven days to explain their misrepresentation with a likelihood of a refusal for using unlicensed agents and failing to disclose to the IRCC.

“There is a huge uprise of PFLs in Nairobi right now which looks like they are trying to crack down on unregistered agents. Unfortunately in this crackdown, the applicant is the biggest loser. Some Clients are telling me they are receiving these letters after visas are issued,” Loise Githiga, who is an IRCC licensed consultant based in Alberta, Canada stated.

“Usually, visa officers will give you a very short window (7-14days) to respond or else.!.. in case you don’t respond / or you respond poorly, you may be found to be inadmissible and receive a refusal or to have misrepresented and get a refusal / visa cancellation and a 5 year ban. Unfortunately, due to information sharing between Canada, USA, Ausi and UK, a misrep in Canada would affect your future applications to these partner countries.”

In one of the PFLs seen by Bizna Kenya, a client whose application was handled by an agent in Nairobi was given seven days to explain why their application was handled by an unlicensed agent.

Nairobi agents conning Kenyans up to Sh. 600,000 for Canadian visit visas
An IRCC procedural fairness letter sent to an applicant from Nairobi, Kenya.

“I have concerns that you have omitted to declare that you used a compensated representative to facilitate the submission of your application. Your application contains evidence that it was facilitated by the same person or entity as many other applications received by this office,” the IRCC officer said in the letter.

“Based on our research, this is a compensated representative. I therefore have concerns that you misrepresented this information either through omission or through failing to indicate that the representative was compensated.”

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