Canada: Reports on Indian students facing deportation from Canada turns spotlight on unscrupulous agents

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Canada: Reports on Indian students facing deportation from Canada turns spotlight on unscrupulous agents

Amid reports of the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) allegedly ordering 700 Indian students to return to India after the documents they had presented for admission to colleges in Canada were found to be forged; Foreign education advisors and experts and students applying for admission to Canadian universities are all concerned.
According to news reports, the scam was carried out by a Punjab-based visa agent, Brijesh Mishra, who took about 16 lakh from each student for admission fees in Canada and produced fake documents. The matter is said to have been uncovered by a CBSA investigation when these students applied for permanent residency and their documents were reviewed and checked.
However, the CBSA has not commented on the case. “The CBSA does not comment or provide details on specific individual cases. An individual’s border and immigration information is considered private and is protected by the Data Protection Act, which sets very strict parameters for what the CBSA may or may not say in relation to specific cases or individuals,” a spokesman for the agency told the Times of India as Response to questions asked by email.
According to the guidelines for international students, they must apply for a study permit before going to Canada. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for receiving and reviewing applications and then approving study permit applications submitted from abroad, allowing the international student to travel to Canada. “IRCC is also responsible for overseeing the compliance of students enrolled in certain educational institutions once a study permit has been issued,” the CBSA spokesman said.
Although the agency has not commented on the recent case; The CBSA has shared with The Times of India an example of actions taken to address the issue of false documents announced by the CBSA in the Quebec region and operational highlights. In 2022, CBSA law enforcement officials uncovered a scheme in which unsubsidized private college programs led foreign students to a post-graduation work permit (for $25,000) with the sole purpose of gaining permanent residency.
On June 7, 2022, this investigation led to the decision by the federal and state governments to tighten the criteria for issuing work permits after graduation. The investigation targeted 11 colleges involved in the fraud. The federal and state programs that issue a study permit and then lead to permanent residence were also put to the test. “Effective September 1, 2023, the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility criteria will be changed for certain programs at certain designated educational institutions. The school must be approved by a provincial or territorial government before it can accept international students,” the CBSA spokesman said.
Entering Canada for a temporary residency status (such as a tourist, student, or work visa) requires screening, but the extent of the controls is based on the premise that entry into the country is temporary. “When applying for permanent residency (immigration) status, each applicant’s profile undergoes more detailed screening, including police checks from the country of origin. So it’s not unexpected that sophisticated scams are being identified at this point that have been overlooked by study approval teams,” says Delhi-based education consultant Maria Mathai.
However, she fails to see such scams detract from Canada’s appeal as a welcoming campus destination for Indian students. “Canada gives you that opportunity to grow. I think Indian students recognize this in Canada and will continue to apply to Canadian universities and colleges. That is why it is now the top travel destination for Indian students,” she says. And while Mathai doesn’t anticipate major ticketing changes in Canada’s visa policy for international students; Study permit verification at all levels could be tightened, including documentary checks when applying for permits, institutional verification of offer letters and individual screening of students upon departure from India and upon arrival in Canada, she said.
While the details of this case, in which allegedly 700 Indian students are now facing deportation, are not yet known; Most experts believe that the flaw in the admissions system for international students at Canadian universities stems from the involvement of unscrupulous agents. “Because the agents take over the process and receive the details of the offer letter, they can easily manipulate it. In processing the information, they use documents that do not categorically mention the agent’s information, thereby avoiding themselves,” says Adarsh ​​Khandelwal, co-founder and director of educational consultancy Collegify.
Although there will likely be implications for future Canadian student visa applications and closer scrutiny; The fact that such a large number of false or altered documents could have gone unnoticed for several years raises eyebrows. “How did these 700 students originally gain entry into Canada? Did the Canadian immigration authorities in India overlook the forged documents even though all the documents in Delhi, including academic records and financial reports, were carefully checked,” asks Ajay Sharma, President of Abhinav Immigration Services in Delhi. He adds that an important lesson for future students is to pay all fees directly to universities in Canada and avoid falling into the trap of unscrupulous agents.
Points to keep in mind for students going to Canada

  • International students must apply for a study permit before going to Canada. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for receiving and reviewing applications and then approving study permit applications submitted from abroad, allowing the international student to travel to Canada
  • IRCC is also responsible for overseeing the compliance of students enrolled in specific learning institutions once a study permit has been issued
  • Upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry, travelers must demonstrate to a CBSA officer that they meet the requirements to enter Canada
  • A study permit is not a visa and does not automatically entitle you to enter Canada. International students may also need a visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).
  • When assessing eligibility, CBSA officers consider all relevant factors before making a decision, including the purpose of travel to Canada
  • Travelers must have documentation detailing the purpose of their trip and any other relevant information (e.g. a letter of acceptance from a specific educational institution) and proof that they have sufficient funds to pay for their tuition and themselves and any dependents to nourish
  • Border guards may choose not to issue permits at the port of entry if information on admissibility is available. Foreigners can be excluded for safety, health or financial reasons
  • The agency is required by law to expel all foreign nationals and permanent residents who are barred from entering Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and who have a deportation order in place
  • The process of determining ineligibility begins with the issuance of a 44 report outlining ineligibility and forwarding the report to an authorized decision maker – a delegate of the Minister or a member of the Immigration Department – for an admissibility hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB ). A decision will be made as to whether a removal order will be issued
  • Before initiating enforcement action against an individual, the CBSA reviews all relevant factors related to a case

Source: Canadian Border Protection Agency (CBSA)