Hundreds of Indian students face deportation from Canada, as an elaborate education racket unfolds belatedly, revealing they had entered the country by illegitimate means despite previously being allowed to stay long enough to complete their studies.
Most of the students had already graduated from their respective programmes with legitimate diplomas or degrees with some even obtaining work permits and jobs.
The scam came to light earlier this month when some of them attempted to apply for permanent residency, having studied, then worked and lived in Canada for the stipulated number of years.
Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) investigations into their documents found that the applicants had arrived in the country on forged offer letters purportedly from Canadian educational institutions.
Around 700 students who first filed visa applications from 2018 to 2022 have reportedly been issued deportation notices.
Some students who spoke to Indian newspaper The Tribune said they received deportation notices from the CBSA as early as April 2021, but stayed silent over perceived discrimination of being suspected as illegal migrants. Others spent tens of thousands in attempted legal battles to stay in Canada to little avail.
“We have now decided to speak out in the hope that our cases will receive more attention,” Mr Inderjit Singh, a student, told The Tribune. “Besides, with the intervention of the government, there are chances that the Canadian authorities could be held equally accountable as they too failed to check the authenticity of the ‘acceptance letters’ when we applied for study permits.”
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The fraudulent admission letters have been linked to Mr Brijesh Mishra, who runs a company called Education Migration Services (EMS) in Jalandhar, a city in the North Indian state of Punjab.