Canada is not issuing visas through lottery
The viral Canada visa lottery link is a scam
Claim: Viral social media messages claim that applications for Canada’s visa lottery program are open. It says that the Canadian Government has increased the number of visas issued to people through visa lottery by 500% in 2022. The viral message is accompanied by a link to sign up for the visa lottery.
Fact: The claim is false. Canada does not have a visa lottery program.
The viral message went viral on WhatsApp in early November 2022. Canada’s official institution in charge of immigration and citizenship is called Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The official IRCC website specifically warns users against internet scams and fake websites claiming to offer easy ways to receive a Canadian visa.
Fact or Fiction?
Canada visa lottery scams have been recurring for many years. In 2018, AFP Fact Check published a fact check about a similar scam. The article reads, “A recurring hoax about the Canadian visa lottery has recently resurfaced in several African countries.” In June 2018, the official IRCC Twitter account also issued a clarification, “Don’t be fooled by false info online: Canada does not have a visa lottery. Make sure you get your immigration information from the official Government of Canada website…”.
Don't be fooled by false info online: Canada does not have a visa lottery. Make sure you get your immigration information from the official Government of Canada website at https://t.co/3iuLsx4o9H. Learn more about online scams: https://t.co/vKOcCUN5FE pic.twitter.com/swizwIfqcq
— IRCC (@CitImmCanada) June 1, 2018
In November 2021, Ripples Nigeria also conducted a fact check about a similar scam that went viral on WhatsApp in the region. In a similar pattern, it was titled, “*CANADA Visa Lottery Application Form 2021/2022 Is Out*”. The following scam link in the article has been deleted.
Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 30-day period since 5 November to 4 December using the following search terms:
- “CANADA VISA LOTTERY 2022”
The search term turned up 27,498 interactions across 385 posts on Facebook. We also conducted an organic Facebook search which turned up posts that were missing from the CrowdTangle search. The false claim can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Another viral story was also included in the CrowdTangle search results. The story claimed that a man named ‘John’ won a visa lottery to work in Canada for four years and to go with any family members that he would like. It ends with “Don’t Scroll down Without typing AMEN”. The story was shared here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Conclusion: Canada does not have a visa lottery system. Multiple scam links have emerged over the years, claiming to be applications for Canada visa lotteries. The IRCC has strictly warned users against such scams. The official IRCC website is the most reliable source of information relating to immigration to Canada.