'Finished studies 3 years back and now..,' Indian students facing deportation risk in Canada2 min read 08 Jun 2023, 10:04 AM IST
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has sent deportation letters to approximately 700 Indian students after discovering that their admission offer letters were fraudulent.
A large number of Indian students in Canada have taken to the streets to protest against the potential threat of deportation. Primarily hailing from Punjab, these students assert that they were admitted to Canadian universities and colleges based on fraudulent offer letters. They accuse travel agents in India of orchestrating this fraudulent scheme.
A significant number of protesting students allege that they arrived in Canada in 2018, but their application for permanent residency was rejected after it was discovered that they had submitted counterfeit letters.
"When we arrived in Canada our agent told us that the seats were full in the colleges where we had received admission letters. He told us that universities were overbooking so he can transfer us to another college. Since we did not want to lose a year, we agreed," said Chamandeep Singh, a protesting student, in an interview with NDTV.
The report further noted, "We changed college and finished our studies but three-four years later, we were told by the CBSA that the admission letter on the basis of which we had received our visas was fraudulent," he added.
The Minister for NRI Affairs in Punjab has requested the involvement of the External Affairs Minister (EAM), S Jaishankar, in the matter.
"These (700) students are innocent and have been cheated by the clique of fraudsters. I shall be highly grateful if you again look into the matter personally and take up the matter with concerned agencies including the High Commission of Canada and the government of Canada so that these students can be saved from being deported," reads a letter from Dhaliwal to Jaishankar.
Lovepreet Singh, another protesting student, claimed that fears of deportation have taken a toll on the mental health of the students, with many even contemplating suicide as a result.
"We request the Indian government to raise this issue with the Canadian government. We are innocent and have been scammed. Our are at stake, many are even suicidal due to this. Many are suffering in silence. I got a deportation notice for June 30. We put our lives' saving to come to Canada and now we have been asked to go back," Lovepreet said.
While the students persisted with their street protests, the matter eventually reached the Canadian Parliament, where Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), questioned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about whether he would halt the deportation of these students.
Punjab NRI Affairs Minister Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal has demanded the Centre to solve the matter of 700 Indian students, mostly Punjabis, who are trapped in immigration fraud in Canada and facing deportation cases.
Dhaliwal in a letter written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, demanded that Students should not be deported and given work permits considering their visas.
He also requested Home Minister Amit Shah to cooperate with Punjab Government to punish travel agents who cheated the students.
(With inputs from agencies)