Canada: 700 Indian students facing deportation for producing fake admission documents
Toronto: A large number of Indian students are facing the risk of being deported from Canada to India after it was found that their study permits were based on alleged fake documentation prepared by an agent in India.
However, the exact number of students who are currently facing trouble is still not clear.
According to media reports, the number of affected students could be 700.
"At least 70 have joined together in an online forum to collectively address their problem, as they face an exclusion order from the Canada Border Services Agency or CBSA which could result in their deportation from the country as well as a ban for five years from entering it again," reports Hindustan Times.
The students reportedly arrived in Canada between 2017 and 2020.
They started receiving notices from the CBSA in 2021 and last year, for a hearing as the agency concluded the letter of offer of admission to a Canadian higher education institution, which formed the basis of their study permits, was 'fake', the Indian newspaper reported.
The majority of the affected students were represented by the agent Brijesh Mishra of the Jalandhar-based counselling firm EMSA Education and Migration Services Australia.
One of the students, 27-year-old Inder Singh, who is based in Brampton and originally from Amritsar, told the Hindustan Times he had been charged nearly Rs. 14 lakh for the process of getting the visa for studying in Canada.
According to reports, three students have met officials at the Indian Consulate in Toronto.
A senior official with India’s High Commission in Ottawa told the Indian newspaper that they were pursuing the matter with Canadian authorities.
In response to queries from the Hindustan Times, a CBSA spokesperson said they could not address individual issues due to privacy laws, and added, “The mandate of enforcement officers is to support CBSA operations and law enforcement organizations in Canada and abroad, to collect, analyze, collate and disseminate information on activities suspected of contravening Canadian laws, particularly when they pose threats to the health and safety of Canadians and the Canadian economy.”
“Foreign nationals can be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons. The Agency has a legal obligation to remove all foreign nationals and permanent residents who are inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and who have a removal order in force.”
Canadian Minister reacts:
Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser was quoted as saying by The Toronto Star that immigration and border enforcement officials, along with colleges and universities, have stepped up the effort to strengthen “the integrity measures” in place to deal with the authenticity of acceptance letters from institutions.
“Every once in a while, you do see bad actors, particularly from other parts of the world, who are difficult to police from Canada, who seek to take advantage of international students. It’s disgusting to see the behaviour of some of the promoters around the world,” Fraser told a community radio program as quoted by the newspaper.
“With respect to the reports we’ve seen, we have some work to do to understand precisely what’s going on before we can understand what the appropriate solution may be," the Minister said.
Sarom Rho of Migrant Students United, a national advocacy group for international students, told The Toronto Star the organization has been in touch with some of the alleged victims through a community contact and about a dozen have filed a judicial review with the federal court to challenge the removal order.
“International students are the ones being punished for reasons that are totally out of their control,” said Rho.
The Canadian Bureau for International Education's data showed there were 807,750 international students in the country at all levels of study last year.