Canadian authorities have successfully narrowed down their list of student visa fraud cases, bringing it down from an initial count of 2,000 to just 300.
The fraud involved some immigration agents taking advantage of the system to defraud around 700 Indian students. However, after careful consideration, the authorities have decided not to deport the affected students, ensuring their protection and well-being.
Let’s dive into the details of this important news:
Canadian Authorities Arrest an Immigration Agent for Fraud
On 23 June, Canadian authorities apprehended an immigration agent named Brijesh Mishra from Jalandhar, India, following reports from Reuters. He was accused of being involved in defrauding 700 Indian students.
The revelation of the fraud brought about the possibility of mass deportation for Indian students in Canada who were affected. The issue caught the attention of both the Indian foreign ministry and several students who raised concerns about their visa status and eligibility for studying in Canada.
Appeal to Canadian Authorities
Both the Indian foreign ministry and the affected students requested Canadian authorities to reconsider the deportation decision and assess the credibility and eligibility of the students for their study permits.
Canadian Authorities’ Decision
Update on the Situation
Canadian public safety minister Marco E L Mendicino provided an update on the number of students who might still face potential deportation. According to a Times of India report, some students had written to the minister on 8 June expressing concerns about their visa status, which prompted the minister to provide the latest information on the situation.
“In 2018, CBSA was investigating organised crime groups and became aware of issues with students not attending school and becoming involved in criminality and gangs. This led to new lines of enquiry which ultimately, based on tips received from the public in 2020, led us to identify over 2,000 cases where fraudulent documents may have been used to obtain a student visa. In collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), we reviewed those cases and we narrowed them down to approximately 300 cases of concern,”The Times of India report quoted the letter.
Collaboration between Agencies:
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) collaborated to review the fraud cases.
Public tips received in 2020 played a crucial role in identifying approximately 2,000 cases of concern, which were then narrowed down to 300.
A Large Number of Foreign Students in Canada:
- In 2022, there were more than 800,000 foreign students with active visas in Canada, and around 320,000 of them were from India.
- The Canadian government is committed to ensuring the integrity of the immigration system while welcoming genuine students.
Freeze on Planned Deportations:
Canadian authorities, led by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Former Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, took decisive action against those responsible for fraud.
“Our government is taking action against those who are responsible for fraud, while protecting those who’ve come here to pursue their studies.”Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a statement.
Assurance of a Fair and Welcoming Environment
Minister Mendicino assures that the Canadian government is dedicated to addressing fraud cases while maintaining a fair and welcoming environment for international students. The authorities are taking action against those responsible for fraud while safeguarding the rights of genuine students.
In conclusion, the reduction of student visa fraud cases and the decision not to deport the defrauded Indian students showcase the dedication of Canadian authorities to maintaining the credibility of their immigration system. By acting swiftly and decisively, the government has demonstrated its resolve to protect the interests of genuine students and maintain Canada’s reputation as a preferred destination for quality education.