passportOver 3,000 new Canadian citizens may be stripped of their citizenship due to allegations of fraud.

The Federal government has been conducting an investigation into possible fraud by nearly 11,000 immigrants. Approximately 530 letters have already been issued to individuals who were found to have falsified their residency requirements. An additional 5,000 permanent residents have been ‘flagged’ as potential future fraud cases.

A further 1,800 people with possible ties to fraud have already withdrawn their applications.

“It demonstrates that just by raising the level of our vigilance and by having launched these investigations, many of those who were beginning to commit this fraud have realized that they are likely to be caught,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

In order to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, Canadian permanent residents must reside in the country for three out of four years. Many of the individuals who have been targeted in the fraud sweep are wealthy immigrants who paid several thousand dollars to crooked attorneys who promised Canadian citizenship in return for a high fee.