Work in Canada

Fake Work Papers – How To Identify Fake Work Papers

The cases of fake work papers have increased over the years and employers are now more interested in knowing how to differentiate fake documentation from original. Work papers also known as work permit are documents that certify that you are qualified and have been granted permission to work in a foreign country.

The reason for the increase in the use of fake work papers is not far-fetched; in Canada, you can hardly work without a work permit. Only in some cases are you allowed to work without a work permit.

With the knowledge of this, employers are not the only ones who should be wary of fake work papers as unsuspecting employees can also be swindled of their money and given fake documents.

While it is expected for a person who is not in the field to not know the difference between fake and genuine work papers, both employers and employees should at least have an idea to avoid being deceived or getting into trouble in your place of work.

The Canadian work permit is usually issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility program (IMP) and it is issued by Canada Immigration and Citizenship.

The TFWP has four sub programs under it, they include;

  • High-Skilled Workers Program
  • Low-Skilled Workers Program
  • Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program
  • Live-in Caregiver Program

Types of Work Permit

Canadian work permits are of two types, there’s the Open Work Permit and Employer-Specific Work Permit.

Open Work Permit

With this type of work permit, an employee can work for any employer of their choice. Work Permits issued under the International Mobility Program are usually open work permit even if they are closed, an employer does not need an LMIA to hire you.

Working Holiday Visa and Post-Graduate Work Permit are examples of open Work Permit.

Employer-Specific Work Permit

This type of work permit does not allow an employee to work for any employer of their choice, they are only allowed to work for one employer who has an LMIA. Work Permits issued under the TFWP are usually employer-specific.

How Can Employers Differentiate Fake Work Papers?

Differentiating fake work papers or identification is usually not easy as they can be quite deceiving, here are a few techniques to apply when trying to discern if Identification documents are genuine or fake.


You should properly cross-check the photograph on the ID card photo, it might be a genuine ID card quite alright but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in the possession of the rightful owner.

Be sure to check the face of the bearer properly and compare it to the photo on the ID card.

Line Pattern

This is another technique used in identifying IDs. They usually have a pattern line that cuts across the card that creates a kind of curve. It is not so with original work permit. This line can be seen with the normal eyes.


fake identifications usually have holes created by a lazar beam that cuts across the card. These holes cannot be seen with the normal eyes but through the use of UV light or through touch.

Opacity Mark

On fake identifications, you can see water marks of different types once the card is tilted or through the use of UV light.

Overlaying Information

A typical feature of fake identification is the tendency of discreetly overlapping card data. For instance, placing height information over a picture image. This does not need a UV light to be seen as it can be seen with the normal eyes.


Fake IDs are usually covered with a protective coating that is usually ultra-thin and hardly noticeable. You can see this through the use of UV light or if you tilt the card slowly.

Palpable Features

Fake work papers like ID cards usually have certain obvious features that differentiates it from the original one. Features like being lighter than usual, flexibility, and so on. This can be noticed simply by touch.

How can Employees Identify Fake Work Papers?

Employees can still make use of the techniques listed above to identify fake Documentation but to be on the safer side, Employees should ensure that they get their work permit from the appropriate Canadian authorities.

This would reduce the risk of being swindled and getting into trouble for resuming for a job with fake work papers.

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