International students who were scammed by an immigration consultant in India and told to face deportation will now be allowed to stay in Canada according to immigration minister Sean Fraser
“International students who are genuine applicants that came to Canada to study and were victimized by fraudsters will be given permission to remain in Canada,” Fraser said in a press conference on Wednesday, June 14.
The announcement follows weeks of protests and calls from both Conservative and NDP members of parliament to stay these deportation orders.
The ministry has appointed a task force to work with the Canada Border Services Agency to identify victims of fraud from overseas, the immigration consultants who issue them, and other foreign nationals using forged admissions letters “to take advantage of Canada’s immigration system.”
“The Government of Canada’s focus is on identifying those who are responsible for the fraudulent activity and not on penalizing those who may have been affected by fraud,” the minister said in his statement.
- After thousands of dollars and years in Canada, international students face removal orders amid immigration scam
- Opposition MPs emergency calls to stay deportation orders of scammed international students go unheeded
- ‘We are not criminals’: Scammed international students facing deportation plead for justice after years in Canada
- B.C. international students are the new temporary foreign workers, stuck without work in their fields: survey
Those who are found by the task force to have been genuine victims of fraud will be issued temporary resident permits and will not be subject to a five-year ban from re-entering Canada.
Fraser also said the federal government is working with designated learning institutions — colleges and universities authorized to accept international students — provinces and organizations to better detect fraud.
For over two weeks, international students have been joined by hundreds of supporters occupying the doorstep of CBSA offices in Mississauga, demanding Canada stop the deportations.
In March, New Canadian Media (NCM) reported on dozens of international students in B.C. fighting removal orders because of fake school admissions letters forged by an immigration consultant in India that went unnoticed for years.
Last week, two female international students in Ontario facing deportation told NCM they had spent thousands of dollars studying in Canada and had been issued several work permits over the years. It wasn’t until they applied for permanent residency that the offer letter became grounds to deport them.
Fraser’s announcement comes a day after an international student scheduled to be deported on June 13 was issued a stay to reassess his deportation.
Keitlyn (they/them) is a multi-media journalist residing in Scarborough, Ont. They are interested in long-form journalism that highlights the visibility of BIPOC expression. True to millennial form, they are a small business owner, carpenter and freelance photographer. They were interested in NCM as it understands the "big picture." Journalists are dedicated to truth and democracy. Our communities have not always had access to these privileges. NCM is filling in a large gap that North American media has long neglected.