Canada’s New Visa Rule: Safeguarding Indian Students from Fraud

Canada is currently in the process of implementing a robust verification process to address the issue of student visa fraud, which was notably exemplified by an incident involving 700 Indian students in June of this year. This recent initiative underscores Canada’s commitment to maintaining an open and welcoming environment for international students, as it has not imposed any limits on the number of foreign students seeking educational opportunities within its borders. On October 27, the Immigration Minister of Canada, Marc Miller, announced a series of comprehensive initiatives aimed at fortifying the International Student Program and bolstering the protection mechanisms for genuine students to shield them from fraudulent activities.

A series of measures have been introduced to strengthen Canada’s approach to international student visa applications and to address the issues related to fraudulent activities, similar to those experienced by some students earlier this year. These measures include:

Enhanced Verification of Acceptance Letters (Effective December 1, 2023):

  • Post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) will be mandated to verify the authenticity of acceptance letters submitted by all applicants with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • The primary goal of this heightened verification process is to protect prospective students from fraudulent acceptance letters and to prevent issues similar to those encountered by some students due to fraud investigations earlier in the year.
  • Furthermore, this measure will ensure that study permits are exclusively issued to applicants who possess genuine acceptance letters from Canadian post-secondary DLIs.

“Recognized Institution” Framework (To be Implemented by the Fall Semester of 2024):

  • IRCC is set to introduce a “recognized institution” framework, which will specifically benefit post-secondary DLIs that excel in providing exceptional services, support, and outcomes for international students.
  • Institutions designated as “recognized institutions” will receive special privileges, including expedited processing of study permit applications for students intending to enroll in their programs.

Evaluation and Reform of Post-Graduation Work Permit Program Criteria:

  • In the forthcoming months, IRCC will conduct an evaluation of the criteria governing the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).
  • Reforms will be introduced to better align the PGWPP with the requirements of the Canadian job market, as well as regional and Francophone immigration objectives. These changes aim to make the program more responsive to the evolving needs of international students and the Canadian economy.

The introduced changes are designed with the dual objective of safeguarding authentic international students from fraudulent activities and promoting institutions that offer strong support for their international student population. These measures underline Canada’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of its international education system while fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for students from around the world.

Minister Miller underscores the significance of bolstering the International Student Program to provide a protective shield for students and counteract exploitation. He emphasizes that international students are a pool of talented and bright individuals, deserving of a positive and enriching experience as they embark on their educational journey in Canada. The Minister’s commitment is to enhance the International Student Program by safeguarding students and identifying and addressing any attempts to exploit them. Regardless of whether an international student chooses to continue their stay in Canada after graduation or return to their home country, the objective is to ensure that their time as a student in Canada contributes significantly to their personal growth and aspirations. This statement reiterates Canada’s dedication to fostering a safe and supportive environment for international students and to maintaining the integrity of its international education system.

In June, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) established a dedicated task force in collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to confront the issue of fraudulent admission letters. The primary objective of this task force was to prevent legitimate students from being subjected to deportation due to fraudulent activities. As of October 12, 2023, a total of 103 cases were reviewed. Out of these cases, 63 were verified as genuine students, while 40 were found to be non-compliant with the required criteria. It’s worth noting that the task force is cognizant of additional cases that are currently pending review, contingent upon decisions from the Immigration and Refugee Board. This proactive approach is aimed at rectifying instances of fraud and ensuring that authentic international students are protected from potential deportation, reinforcing Canada’s commitment to upholding the integrity of its student visa system.

On June 23, 2023, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) made an announcement regarding charges brought against Brijesh Mishra for his involvement in immigration-related offenses. Mr. Mishra was identified as a key figure in orchestrating fraudulent schemes that targeted students. In response to this, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has reaffirmed its commitment to ongoing collaboration with the CBSA. Their collective efforts are aimed at identifying and taking appropriate action against individuals who seek to exploit legitimate students. This collaborative approach demonstrates the Canadian government’s determination to root out fraudulent activities and protect genuine international students from harm.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.