Ziad El Shurafa
Our family was large and we lived in a part of the world where fences and walls are all too commonplace. It is no wonder then that the concept of freedom is very precious to me. Perhaps that is also why I decided to devote most of my life trying to help other people achieve it in their lives.
I spent years studying the intricate details of the immigration process in many countries and began by helping family members prepare and submit their applications for residency and citizenship in Canada. The next logical step was to build a business around this interest of mine and in 1999 'Canada 2000' was born. It was also at this time that I applied for and was granted the official Canadian Immigration Consultant Certification.
What began in Dubai eventually expanded to opening an office in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The business grew and clients came from far beyond the family basis to include a wide range of other people who understood the real value and opportunities that only an alternative citizenship can provide.
Everything was on the right track until I made a big mistake...
The year was 2012. A family member whom I helped apply for the Canadian program asked me to "bend" the rules as it applied to his application and regrettably, I agreed. Family ties can be that strong sometimes.
The Canadian authorities became aware of what I had done in this one instance and decided to prosecute me for my offense. Naturally, I pleaded guilty and accepted their verdict which included a large fine and a two-year period of severe travel limitations. I think it is very telling though that they decided not to revoke my Canadian Certification as the offense certainly did not warrant depriving me of my vocation and profession.
The bottom line is that I learned my lesson and paid my dues.
I have put that episode and my solitary lapse of judgment behind me and have continued helping people improve their lives through various citizenship-by-investment programs in many parts of the world since then.
The immigration process is still a very important part of my life. I will continue to offer my professional advice to those who need it.
I will also continue to study this business as it goes through recent dramatic changes and comment on what I think about those changes.
Ziad EL Shurafa