• 21 May, 2024

Canada Takes Action Against Fraudulent Practices in International Student Program

In a decisive move, Canadian immigration authorities are cracking down on the illicit use of counterfeit acceptance letters in the international student application process.

Effective December 1, post-secondary Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in Canada must validate the letters of acceptance submitted to Canadian Immigration. If, within a specified timeframe, the DLI fails to confirm the authenticity of the acceptance letter, the study permit application will either be returned or not processed by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

While this initiative aims to enhance the integrity of the system, concerns have been raised by international students in Canada, expressing fears that the validation process may lead to delays in the processing of their study permit applications.

Rick Ryan Montayre, a concerned international student, commented, "This could result in missed opportunities. I worry that the extended processing time might dissuade people from applying to study in Canada."canada

Responding to the need for action, Canada's Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, recently announced measures to tackle fraudulent activities within the country's international student program. In June, a dedicated task force was established by Immigration Canada in collaboration with border authorities to review cases involving affected students and graduates, aiming to prevent unwarranted removals from Canada.

As of mid-October, the task force reviewed 103 cases, determining that 63 were legitimate students while 40 were involved in fraudulent activities.

Simultaneously, Canada is reinstating the 20-hour per week work limit for international students as the pilot program concludes. Post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus while classes are in session, with this change taking effect in November and concluding on December 31.

Highlighting the economic significance of international education, the IRCC reports that it contributes over $22 billion annually to Canada's economy, surpassing the yearly exports of auto parts, lumber, or aircraft. Moreover, it sustains more than 200,000 jobs in the country.

The temporary decline in international student numbers in 2020 resulted in a staggering loss of over $7 billion for Canada's gross domestic product that year. As Canada strengthens its measures to ensure the legitimacy of the international student program, the aim is to maintain a balance between attracting genuine students and preventing fraudulent activities.