Fake admission letter scandal: Canada’s House panel asks border agency to stop deporting Indian students

A parliamentary committee of Canada has asked the CBSA to stop the deportation of hundreds of Indian students duped by unscrupulous education consultants in India to enter the country with ‘fraudulent college admission letters’

Livemint
Updated8 Jun 2023, 08:53 PM IST
Nearly 700 Indian students, mostly from Punjab, face deportation from Canada after the authorities found their “admission offer letters” to educational institutions fake
Nearly 700 Indian students, mostly from Punjab, face deportation from Canada after the authorities found their “admission offer letters” to educational institutions fake

A parliamentary committee of Canada has asked the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to stop the deportation of hundreds of Indian students duped by unscrupulous education consultants in India to enter the country with "fraudulent college admission letters."

Nearly 700 Indian students, mostly from Punjab, face deportation from Canada after the authorities found their “admission offer letters” to educational institutions fake. The matter came to light in March when these students applied for permanent residency in Canada.

In a symbolic move, all-party immigration committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to ask the border agency to waive inadmissibility of the affected students and to provide them with an alternative pathway to permanent residence on humanitarian grounds or through a “regularization” program.

Lawmaker Jenny Kwan who tabled the motion said, “These students, I’ve met with many of them, now are just in such a terrible state. They’ve lost money and they are stuck in a terrible situation. And some of them have deportation orders. Others have pending meetings with CBSA.”

“So as a first step, this is absolutely essential and necessary. The students are victims of fraud and should not be penalized, ” Kwan added.

Another lawmaker Shafqat Ali said, “We need to have empathy for those students, and we should not exploit the situation and play politics on this issue of those innocent students.”

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser tweeted, “We are actively pursuing a solution for intl students who are facing uncertainty due to having been admitted to Canada with fraudulent college admission letters.”

"Those who have taken advantage of people genuinely hoping to study here will face consequences for their actions," he said in a separate tweet, adding that innocent victims would be given every opportunity to have their cases considered fairly.

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India,  the government has taken up the issue with Canadian authorities.

"If there were people, who misled them (the students), the culpable parties should be acted upon. It is unfair to punish a student who undertook education in good faith," Jaishankar said

Jaishankar firther said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also made a statement in the House of Commons on the issue.

Meanwhile Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has said, "We are deeply aware of cases of international students facing removal orders over fraudulent college acceptance letters."

"To be clear, our focus is on identifying the culprits, not penalising the victims. Victims of fraud will have an opportunity to demonstrate their situations and present evidence to support their cases," Trudeau said.

"We recognise the immense contributions international students bring to our country and we remain committed to supporting victims of fraud as we evaluate each case," Trudeau added.

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First Published:8 Jun 2023, 08:53 PM IST
HomeNewsWorldFake admission letter scandal: Canada’s House panel asks border agency to stop deporting Indian students

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