More than 700 Indian students are facing deportation from Canada after finding that their educational institution’s admission offer letters were fake. The fraud was discovered when the students applied for permanent residency in Canada. The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) examined the documents based on which their visas were issued and found that these letters were fake.
Most of the students had come to Canada to study in 2018 and 2019. In addition, many of them had already completed their studies, got work permits and gained work experience in Canada.
According to the Toronto Star, the students had applied for study visas via Education Migration Services located in Jalandhar. The consulting firm was headed by Brijesh Mishra, who charged students thousands of dollars to cover the fees related to handling the college and visa application, as well as tuition fees. The company’s office in Jalandhar has been closed and Mishra “has vanished”.
Only licensed lawyers and consultants registered with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultant (CICC) can legally offer immigration advice and services for a fee. Education agents must also be licensed with the CICC.
Unfortunately, there are education agents that take advantage of students eager to study and work in Canada for a chance at permanent residency. These agents are not licensed, they do not sign a contract and they take the fees in cash.
“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” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to a community radio program.
Common scams for international students
The Indian students were the victim of what is commonly called a “ghost consultant.” Ghost consultants are unlicensed immigration representatives or people who pose as representatives from an educational institution.
They offer services to international students (in this instance) in exchange for a fee and then vanish, or “ghost”, the victim once they get their money. This type of fraud can happen to those looking for work permits, study permits or permanent resident status.