International Students and the Fake Letter of Acceptance

Posted on 22/05/2023

The Hope

Karamjeet Kaur is exactly the type of immigrant Canada needs – young, educated with a post-secondary degree and hoping to get a master’s degree and working as a supervisor on a work permit as well as volunteering in her spare time and she’s married.

The Fake Document

Unfortunately, as has become news around the country, she was preyed on by an unscrupulous agent in her home country of India and given a fake letter of admission to Seneca College when she was applying to come to Canada. Although, this fake letter of admission gained her entry into Canada, she claims to have never realized it was fake. In fact, neither did the IRCC officials who approved her application several years ago.

The Consequences

CBSA officials in fact were the ones in 2021 who uncovered the fraud perpetrated by the individual in India and notified Karamjeet and the IRCC who issued a deportation order.

Kaur also claims that when she arrived in Canada as an international student, the agent in India told her that her spot at Seneca wasn’t available anymore. As a result, she ended up moving to Alberta where she enrolled in a business and administration management program in 2020. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has ruled that she be deported by May 29 of this year (2023).

Early in 2023, a Federal Judge dismissed Kaur’s request for judicial review of the Board’s deportation order, ruling that Kaur never verified her acceptance letter and never contacted Seneca College to see why her admission had been supposedly withdrawn. This despite the judge stating that Kaur “genuinely believed” she had been admitted to Seneca.

The Reasons Why

So, what is the specific reason for Kaur’s deportation?

Misrepresentation. Any fraudulent document – like an admissions letter, a job offer letter, birth or marriage certificates, or passports, or financial documents to name a few – that is used to apply to IRCC is considered a serious offence and subject to deportation. In addition, you could be banned from entering Canada for a further 5 years and even subject to criminal prosecution.

When the CBSA uncovers misrepresentation, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is required to hold an admissibility hearing – which is where Kaur was apparently determined to have engaged in misrepresentation.

Lawyers representing the many international students who were apparently deceived by the same agent in India, are demanding that the Minister of Immigration mandate a process to determine whether the dozens if not hundreds of students affected by this were aware of the fraud.

What it Will Mean

Whatever the specific result of Kaur’s case, this will likely result in much greater scrutiny of acceptance letters and other documentation relating to international students. It also may bring about a process where any acceptance letters for international students must have an official copy sent directly to IRCC from the relevant university or college. Time will tell.

The moral of this unfortunate tale is any international student applying to come to Canada will have to take greater precautions and double check any document they receive to try and ensure it is valid. Additionally, as the federal judge seemed to suggest, they should take action and verify that their documents are official when they arrive in Canada, especially if they encounter something like an unexpected notification that their school no longer has a place available for them.

A Correction

And finally, a correction to Lovepreet Singh’s comment in the press that international students are “contributing millions of dollars in Canada’s economy”. You’re wrong Mr. Singh. International students are contributing billions of dollars, not millions, especially given they pay 3 times the tuition. Canada’s universities would be half-empty without you, and our economy would lack ambitious and hardworking individuals to fill in the demographic gaps and keep Canada prosperous and innovative. Don’t sell yourself short.

Posted in News and tagged Deportation, Misrepresentation, Study Permit

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