Jalandhar Agent arrested in Canada over Student Admissions Scam

An education agent from Jalandhar has been arrested in Canada over his alleged role in the international student admissions scam.

Jalandhar Agent arrested in Canada over Student Admissions Scam f

"They were unaware of the fake offer letters"

Police in Canada arrested and charged an Indian man for allegedly issuing fraudulent university letters of acceptance to Indian students and other immigration-related criminal offences.

Brijesh Mishra, who is from Jalandhar, Punjab, is facing five charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) launched an investigation after receiving information about Mishra’s status in Canada and his alleged involvement in activities related to “counselling misrepresentation”.

Canada is a popular destination for international students because it is relatively easy to obtain a work permit.

Official data show there were over 800,000 foreign students with active visas in Canada in 2022, including approximately 320,000 from India.

Earlier in 2023, it was reported that Indian students had been served deportation papers for using forged documents to enter Canada in an alleged immigration scheme.

Students said they came to Canada in 2017 and 2018 on student permits.

According to a press release issued by advocates on behalf of hundreds of students who were facing deportation over the fraudulent letters, the students were issued “fake college admission letters drafted by their immigration consultants, namely a Jalandhar-based consultant named Brijesh Mishra”.

“After landing in Canada, the consultants told students that they could not enrol in that particular college for various reasons, such as deferral or unavailability of seats.

“The students were told to change colleges, which they did in order to begin their studies.

“Over the last five to six years, most of the students have completed their studies, entered the workforce, started families and have applied for permanent residency (PR).

“They were unaware of the fake offer letters until they began applying for PR.”

Mishra’s arrest comes after a freeze was announced on the planned deportation of dozens of students.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser also announced a new joint taskforce, made up of senior immigration and border security officials, will probe individual cases of students who fell victim to the scam.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said:

“Our government is taking action against those who are responsible for fraud while protecting those who’ve come here to pursue their studies.”

The students are not being charged or accused of crimes.

But some of the students who carried out a protest at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport over the issue said they continue to have questions and concerns that the “government is placing the burden on students to prove that they were not complicit in fraud”.

Reacting to news of the taskforce, advocates said they worry the process “presumes students are guilty unless they prove otherwise, which is the opposite of how the legal system normally works”.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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