Class action lawsuit filed over failed Chinese immigrants
Firm claims 90 would-be immigrants paid $11.9 million in hopes of easy track to permanent residency
A Chinese immigration services company has filed a class-action lawsuit against a Richmond-based investment company on behalf of clients who allegedly paid $11.9 million in the hopes of securing an easy path to Canadian residency.
In a B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim, Ningbo Zhelun Overseas Immigration Service (Zhelun) claims it had a deal to promote the services of USA-Canada International Investment Inc. (UCII) in China.
An 'easy program' compared to others
Zhelun claims the investment company marketed an opportunity for would-be immigrants to apply for residency through a Yukon Business Nomination plan. It was supposed to be an "easy program" compared to others.
The Chinese company claims clients were told the "requirements for the program were minimal in comparison to other programs" in respect to language testing. There were also allegedly not supposed to be any assessment interviews.
According to the court documents, Zhelun claims that by the summer of 2015, 90 clients had submitted applications to UCII, along with $11.9 million.
But in July 2015, two-thirds of the applicants were told to report to the Canadian immigration services office in Hong Kong for interviews with immigration agents.
"The clients that were interviewed reported that the interviews were not successful," the claim says.
"The applicants who attended the scheduled interviews were humiliated and embarrassed as a result of the failed Hong Kong interviews and failing to obtain their documents that would lead to their permanent residency cards or visas."
Banned from future applications
According to the claim, many of the failed applicants have been banned from making immigration applications for a minimum five year period.
Zhelun claims the company has demanded repayment of the money clients allegedly invested. They're claiming unjust enrichment, misrepresentation and breach of contract.
The court documents say the Canadian Border Services Agency and the RCMP are also investigating.
An employee at the offices of UCII referred questions to a supervisor who did not return a call for comment.
None of the claims has been proven in court.