Over 700 Indians in Canada face deportation after their college entrance offer letters, on which they entered the country on a study visa three to four years ago, were discovered to be false, according to reports. They received the deportation letters from the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) recently.
The students, however, say they were unaware of the forgeries and insist they were duped by their immigration consultation agency in India that provided them the document. They claim they were victims of fraud and are now protesting against the action.
How was the fraud uncovered?
According to media reports, these 700 students had applied for study visas via Education Migration Services (located in Jalandhar) headed by Brijesh Mishra, who had charged more than Rs 16 lakh per student for all expenses, including admission fee to premier institute Humber College but excluding the air tickets and security deposits.
Mishra who secured their admittance to universities after they arrived in Canada, reportedly falsified the offer letters, said a report by Indian Express. The pupils then completed their courses and found employment. The deception was discovered only after they filed for permanent residency, and the bogus letters were reported by the Canadian Border Security Agency.
How did the racket operate?
As per an Indian Express report, many students engage an agency while applying for a study visa. They give the agency their educational credentials, IELTS certificate, and financial paperwork.
Based on this, the consultant creates a dossier in which the students indicate their preferences for educational institutes and courses. The consultant also provides recommendations for colleges and courses. The majority of students favour government-run colleges and a few prestigious private institutions. The adviser then applies on the pupils’ behalf to the desired colleges.
Following receiving an offer letter (in this case, forged) from the institution, the student must deposit a fee, which he or she pays to the agent, who then pays the college, and the student receives a letter of acceptance (LoA) and fee deposited receipt (forged) from the college.
In addition, students must obtain a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), which covers the cost of living and a one-year advance payment, the report says. Students’ visas are submitted for online based on these documents, and they must then attend for biometrics before their visa is granted or rejected by the embassy.
It is also important to note that the letters also evaded the scrutiny of Canadian Embassy officials. How did this happen? Indian Express in its report cited experts as saying that before granting a visa, Canadian Embassy officials must thoroughly review all connected paperwork, including college offer letters.
Mishra must have been aware that offer letters from respected universities are rarely scrutinised, an educational adviser who has been sending students to Canada for more than a decade told the Indian Express. However, the adviser also expressed surprise and how such a large number of offer letters from a ‘certain college were ignored at the embassy level.’
The Friends of Canada & India Foundation, located in Canada, has come out in favour of the more than 700 Indian students facing deportation, reports said. On March 16, the foundation wrote to Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship in Ottawa, Canada, demanding an immediate halt to the deportation proceedings.
This article was originally sourced from www.indiatimes.com