Humber College, a public institution based in the Canadian city of Toronto, has denied having any information or working relationship with the Jalandhar-based consultant Brijesh Mishra, who allegedly offered fake admission letters to hundreds of Indian students, many of whom are at risk of being deported from the North American country.
According to reports, Mishra charged each student between Rs 16 to 20 lakhs for all expenses including admission fees to Humber, which is one of the most renowned institutions in the Ontario province, though charges related to air tickets and security deposits were not included.
Chaman Singh Batth, one of the students who has received a deportation notice, told the news website Indianarrative.com that once he and other students landed in Toronto they were asked by Mishra to get to some other college and save time as all seats were filled in Humber. The students didn’t doubt Mishra’s intentions as he returned their Humber college fee which further made them believe his genuineness.
Humber College disassociates itself with agent Brajesh Mishra
“Earlier today Humber became aware of media coverage about Canada deporting 700 Indian citizens whose admission letters and visa documents were found to be fake. Humber has no knowledge, nor have we worked with the agency and agent mentioned in the media articles,” stated Sylvie Lendvay, who serves as a Media Relations Specialist at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Media.
Lendvay told The Free Press Journal that the institute has not received any inquiries from students about the situation, nor has any student asked for admission to Humber without their knowledge.
“As part of our work with Canada Border Services, the agency has copies of our authentic letters of admission to verify against any students coming into the country. Any suspicious documentation that we may find out about is immediately reported to Canada Border Services,” Lendvay added.
The students eventually took admission to other, lesser-known colleges, and took admission to available 2-year diploma courses.
The admission offer letters of the students came under the radar of the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) when they applied for Permanent Residency (PR).
Canada-based student groups refutes reports on 700 students being deported
Though various reports have suggested that 700 students are set to be sent back to India, Harinder Singh, a representative of Canada-based Montreal Youth Student Organisation told FPJ that currently only 70-80 of the students have been given notices though the numbers can go up eventually.
According to Harinder, the students were made to sign their application forms instead of it being done by Mishra which has made it difficult to prove the latter’s involvement in the fraud.
The only remedy left for the students is to challenge the deportation notices in court where proceedings may continue for 3 to 4 years.
“We have arranged a lawyer for the students so that they can fight their cases in court as it’s not their fault that they were misled by the agent in taking these fake admission letters,” Harinder added.
CBSA puts focus on false documentations by students
While responding to queries from FPJ, CBSA maintained that it doesn’t comment on or provide individual details due to legal implications but laid out the directions that should be followed by students when they are applying for study permits to Canada.
“Most international students must apply for a study permit before they come to Canada. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for receiving and reviewing the applications then approving the study permit requests made from overseas, thereby allowing the international student to travel to Canada,” stated a spokesperson with CBSA.
To address issues of false documentation, the CBSA has undertaken steps announced by CBSA Quebec Region Enforcement and operational highlights.
In 2022, the CBSA enforcement officers uncovered a scheme whereby unsubsidized private college programs were leading foreign students to a post-graduation work permit (for $25,000) with the sole purpose of acquiring permanent residence. The investigation led to a decision, on June 7, 2022, by the federal and provincial governments to tighten the criteria for granting post-graduation work permits.
“The investigation targeted 11 colleges that were implicated in the fraud. The programs of the federal and provincial governments that issue study permits and then lead to permanent residence have also been re-examined,” added the CBSA spokesperson.
New rules to address students taking admissions in lesser-own univs
Effective September 1, 2023, the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will be modified for certain programs at certain designated learning institutions (DLIs) Designated learning institutions list - Canada.ca. The school must be approved by a provincial or territorial government before receiving international students.
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