POLITICS
07/20/2011 01:58 EDT | Updated 09/19/2011 05:12 EDT

Ottawa To Revoke Canadian Citizenship Of 1,800 People

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Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that the federal government believes that around 1,800 people have fraudulently obtained Canadian citizenship, and Ottawa has intentions to revoke their status.

Following an investigation by the police and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, hundreds of Canadians have received letters telling them that Ottawa intends to revoke their citizenship.

Ottawa claims that many of these individuals were helped by "crooked citizenship consultants who created fake proof of their residency in Canada," Kenney told reporters in Toronto on Wednesday morning.

It is believed that many of the targeted individuals actually live overseas.

Individuals affected can object to the government's decision in Federal Court, but if they don't, Cabinet will make motions to void their passports and strip them of Canadian citizenship. "There's a very, very fair and frankly exhaustive legal process," said Kenney.

He also predicted that few would take the opportunity to fight the revocation thanks to "the strong, convincing evidence" the government has about the fraud.

This announcement comes less than a week after Kenney said around 550 Afghan translators who risked their lives working alongside Canadian troops in Afghanistan would be moving to Canada in the next few months.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada also announced on Wednesday a new 10-year multi-entry visa to make it easier for individuals to visit Canada.