In response to recent reports of international students and graduates facing removal from Canada due to fraudulent acceptance letters submitted as part of their study permit applications, Minister Sean Fraser has assured those affected that their well-being is of utmost importance.
He acknowledged that while some students were deceived by individuals claiming to assist them in the immigration application process, others used fraudulent letters to exploit Canada’s immigration system, and a few were involved in organized crime.
This comes after over 700 Indian students in Canada faced deportation after the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) discovered that their ‘admission offer letters’ to educational institutions were fakes.
“International students who are not found to be involved in fraud will not face deportation. Our focus is on identifying those who are responsible for the fraudulent activity and not on penalizing those who may have been affected by fraud,” said IRCC in an official tweet.
International students who are not found to be involved in fraud will not face deportation. Our focus is on identifying those who are responsible for the fraudulent activity and not on penalizing those who may have been affected by fraud.— IRCC (@CitImmCanada) June 14, 2023
Taskforce to Identify Victims of Fraud
Minister Fraser has taken immediate action by establishing a task force comprising IRCC officials who will collaborate closely with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to identify victims of fraud.
The task force’s primary goal is to recognize genuine students who came to Canada with the intention of studying and were unknowingly caught up in fraudulent activities.
Protection for Legitimate Students
Minister Fraser emphasized that international students found not to be involved in fraud will not face deportation.
Utilizing discretionary authority granted under the Immigration Refugee Protection Act, he has instructed officers to issue Temporary Resident Permits to individuals whose cases clearly demonstrate a genuine intent to study in Canada and no knowledge of the use of fraudulent documentation.
This measure ensures that well-intentioned students and graduates can remain in Canada without being subjected to the usual 5-year ban on re-entry following misrepresentation. To prevent imminent deportation during the review process, preliminary Temporary Resident Permits will be issued as necessary.
Collaborative Efforts to Combat Fraud
To uphold the integrity of Canada’s immigration programs and tackle fraudulent activities, IRCC has been working closely with Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), provinces and territories, and organizations representing colleges and universities. Enhanced collaboration aims to improve fraud detection and prevention measures.
Minister Fraser stressed the government’s commitment to cracking down on dishonest consultants who exploit the immigration system and take advantage of individuals seeking to visit, work, study, or settle in Canada.
Targeting Culprits, Not Victims
The focus of the Canadian government is to identify those responsible for fraudulent activity rather than penalize individuals who may have been affected by fraud. Recognizing the significant contributions made by international students to the country, the government is dedicated to providing an honest and transparent path to Canada.
Minister Fraser urged all applicants to conduct thorough research, obtain acceptance letters from reputable DLIs, and refer to the official website for accurate information on programs.
Those who believe they have been deceived by unscrupulous consultants are encouraged to come forward and report fraud.
The Minister’s statement serves as a reassurance to international students affected by fraudulent acceptance letters, demonstrating the Canadian government’s commitment to protecting their rights and ensuring a fair immigration process.