It was reported in India’s mainstream media on Thursday (16 Mar) that the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) has issued deportation notices to over 700 Indian students whose admission offer letters to Canadian educational institutions were found to be fake.
Apparently, these students were involved in using fake ‘admission offer letters’ to gain entry into Canada for studies. The whole matter came to light when some of these students started to apply for permanent residency (PR) after the completion of their studies.
According to reports, the students had applied for study visas via Education Migration Services located in Jalandhar in the northern Indian state of Punjab, during the period from 2018 to 2022.
The visa service agency was run by a person by the name of Brijesh Mishra. He charged each student at least 16 lakh rupees (US$19.4K) for all their expenses in Canada, including admission fees to the premier institute Humber College located in Toronto. The charges excluded expenses of air tickets and security deposits.
Batth added that the agent very cleverly did not sign the study visa application himself but made each student sign personally to show that the student was a self-applicant without hiring the services of any agent. This was deliberately done by Mishra as he had faked the university acceptance documents.
The fraud came into light when students applied for PR after they finished their courses in Canada. During the PR application, the original offer letters from Humber College were found to be fake by CBSA. They were also used fraudulently to fool Canadian authorities into issuing study visas for them to enter Canada.
Subsequently, CBSA started scrutinizing all the university offer letters and discovered at least 700 students from India had used a fake college acceptance letter to apply for their study visa. CBSA then proceeded to deport the students. This kind of fraud using fake college acceptance letters is said to be encountered by Canadian authorities for the first time.
CBSA is now taking a hardline and not accepting claims of innocence by the students as there was no evidence to prove that the agent Mishra had prepared and arranged the documents.
Furthermore, he is not in Canada and out of the jurisdiction of CBSA. The signatures to apply for the study visa have also been found to belong to the students themselves.
In addition, CBSA is also not accepting the failure of the Canadian visa and airport authorities to check on the authenticity of the college acceptance letters, thereby issuing the study visas which allowed the students to enter Canada in the first place.