Canada Study Visa: Trudeau govt to verify Letter of Acceptance after 700 Indian students face immigration fraud
Canada’s immigration minister Marc Miller a few days back said that the country is not in favour of caping international students but in order to stop visa fraud, they are announcing certain changes.-
Amid the India-Canada diplomatic standoff, the Canadian Government has come out with new guidelines for the issuance of study visas all around the world especially for Indian students. Indians especially Sikhs and Punjabis are among the top diasporas who opt for Canada for their higher education. However, approx 700 Indian students mostly from Punjab were facing deportation threats when their Letter of Acceptance was found to be fake. Canada’s immigration minister Marc Miller a few days back said that the country is not in favour of caping international students but in order to stop immigration or visa fraud, they are announcing certain changes or guidelines for international students.
What do Canada's new Study Visa guidelines say?
Marc Miller, Canada’s immigration minister, reportedly stated that he is not in favour of imposing a cap on new international student arrivals. However, to limit fraud against international students, the federal government is rolling out a new scheme to verify the Letters of Acceptance (LOA) that prospective international students need to apply for a study permit.
Not only this, but the Canadian government will reportedly move ahead with a new 'Recognized Institutions Framework' for Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) by the fall semester of 2024. DLIs are colleges, universities, and other educational institutions approved by provincial and territorial governments to welcome international students.
Canada Visa Fraud
For those who are unaware, a few months back, a threat of deportation was looming over 700 Indians majority of whom were from Punjab after their documents did not meet the guidelines to get a PR of Canada. Later, it was unraveled, that those Indian students were victims of immigration fraud from a Jalandhar Travel Agent named Brijesh Mishra. The Canadian Border Security Agency found out that Visa documents applied by students for PR were fake.
Students who were facing deportation had applied for study visa from Education Migration Services situated in Jalandhar which was headed by Brijesh Mishra. After deportation was looming over 700 Indian students, they started a peaceful protest against the government and this gained global traction and strong objections from the Government of India and even the Punjab state government.
Responding to multiple letters sent by victims of immigration fraud asking for their PR status to the Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco E L Mendicino, Branch's Vice President Aaron McCrorie wrote, " 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."