Is Canada visa lottery real? You can find this question on many immigration discussion boards. Fraudulent misrepresentations about a Canadian visa lottery system have been reported in many countries, especially Ghana and Nigeria – see the Canada Immigration Fraud Alert. Run (and contact the appropriate authorities in your country or the Canadian consulate near you) if someone promises to help you immigrate to Canada via “Canada visa lottery” or asks you to pay to obtain Canadian visa lottery application forms.
Canada immigration does not use a lottery system. But note that Canada has a Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents for Canadian permanent residence. This program was originally based on random selection of the parents and grandparents submitted, and hence considered a “lottery”. The random selection has now been replaced with a “first come, first served” selection system .
Canada immigration does not use a lottery system
Immigration to Canada is achievable only through programs operated by the Canadian government or through programs run by the governments of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories. Canadian immigration system is exclusively based on merit and not a lottery system. Using the Express Entry system, applicants seeking to immigrate to Canada are awarded points for education, skills, language ability, etc.
No other bodies or agents are authorized to run immigration programs to Canada and a lottery system does not exist. It is very easy and free for individuals to assess their preliminary eligibility for a Canadian immigration program by using the following free online tools:
Unfortunately scammers have taken to websites and other media (including facebook, whatsapp and twitter) to promote so-called “Canada visa lottery application form”. The Canadian government does not issue immigration visas through a lottery system and the “Canada visa lottery application form” that is being promised simply does not exist.
How to identify fraudulent visa lottery pitches
Below are examples of fake Canada visa lottery posts and statements that you may find on websites and discussion forums:
“Canada visa lottery 2019 eligible countries”; “Canadian visa lottery 2018/2019”; “Canada visa lottery 2019 registration”; “Canada visa lottery official website”; “Canada visa lottery 2019 official website”; “Canadian visa lottery 2019 application form”; “Canada announce visa lottery program”; “Canada Visa Lottery 2019/2020 – See Application Form Here”; “How to apply for the Canadian visa lottery”.
These and similar pitches are completely false and are only intended to mislead you into parting with money or sensitive personal information. In one of the online scams that has been going around, a survey dialogue pops up on a website and asks you to fill in information regarding your age, gender, and other individualistic details. Then it goes on to offer assistance to immigrate to Canada through a Canadian visa lottery. With additional social engineering the scammers demand money from their victims via the contact information that they have collected in the false survey and then disappear.
The scammers will even try to imitate the diversity visa lottery program that exists in the United States to convince you that a similar program exists in Canada. There is no such lottery program in the Canadian immigration system.
How to protect yourself against Canada visa lottery scams
The Government of Canada takes a proactive stand against immigration fraud in general. Please read the following fraud warnings from IRCC:
You do not need to hire an immigration representative to apply for a visa or for Canadian citizenship.
Immigration representatives do not have special connections with Canadian government officials and cannot guarantee you a visa.
Only authorized officers at Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates can decide whether or not to issue a visa.
Don’t be tempted into using false documents as this will result in the refusal of your application.
Beware of internet scams and false websites. The official website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) (now Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or IRCC) is www.cic.gc.ca. Canadian government’s website.
You will find free application forms and guides for any type of visa on CIC’s website.
Processing fees are the same at all Canadian visa offices around the world. Fees in local currency are based on official exchange rates and correspond with the amount in Canadian dollars.
Canadian visa offices will never ask you to deposit money into an individual’s personal bank accounts or to transfer money through a specific private money transfer company.
If you have questions, contact CIC or the visa office responsible for your area.
Watch video below for information on Canada Visa Lottery Scam: