Recent media reports have brought to light a concerning situation where approximately 700 international students from India are facing potential deportation from Canada. This comes after the federal government discovered that the Letters of Admissions (LOAs) upon which these students based their entry into Canada were actually forged. LOAs are issued by Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), which are government-accredited institutions that welcome international students. With a valid LOA, prospective international students can apply for study permits from IRCC and move to Canada. It has been revealed that these fraudulent LOAs were created by an unscrupulous immigration consultant in India who charged the students a fee for their assistance in studying in Canada. The consultant has since disappeared, and the affected students claim they were unaware of the consultant’s fraudulent activities.
Consequently, a task force comprising teams from IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been established to identify the victims of this fraud.
Minister Fraser assures that IRCC and CBSA are meticulously reviewing each individual case that is subject to a removal order. This allows the affected students an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not they were aware of the fraudulent scheme that facilitated their entry into Canada with fake letters of acceptance. Those found to have knowingly violated the rules will face the consequences outlined in the legislation, including deportation.
In cases where it becomes evident that an individual student arrived in Canada with a genuine intention to study, without knowledge of the fraudulent documentation, Minister Fraser .This will ensure that well-intentioned students can remain in Canada and avoid being subjected to a 5-year ban on re-entering the country due to misrepresentation.
Minister Fraser explains that the government is actively exploring solutions to provide these students with a fair chance to apply for permanent residency. To achieve this, IRCC will grant these individuals access to a specific permanent residency (PR) process, where senior officials from IRCC and CBSA will thoroughly assess each case individually, rather than subjecting them to the standard PR process.
Minister Fraser and IRCC acknowledge that this case presents a unique set of circumstances, wherein many students were exploited and taken advantage of by fraudsters. Therefore, there should be no moral blame assigned to these students in such cases.
Furthermore, the statement highlights that IRCC is collaborating with DLIs, provinces and territories, and organizations representing Canadian colleges and universities to enhance fraud detection and prevention measures, ensuring the integrity of Canada’s immigration programs.
The government’s primary focus is on identifying and holding accountable those responsible for the fraudulent activities, rather than penalizing the individuals who fell victim to the fraud.
Minister Fraser concludes by expressing recognition for the immense contributions that international students make to Canada and reiterating the government’s commitment to providing an honest and transparent path to Canada. He advises all applicants to conduct thorough research, obtain acceptance letters from DLIs, and refer to the official website for accurate information about the immigration programs. Additionally, if anyone believes they have been deceived by an unscrupulous consultant, Minister Fraser urges them to come forward and report the fraud.
In summary, the Canadian government, through Minister Fraser and IRCC, is actively addressing the issue of international student fraud. They are implementing measures to support the victims, assessing each case individually, exploring pathways to permanent residency, and collaborating with various stakeholders to combat fraud and maintain the integrity of the immigration programs.