Canada authorities charge Indian man for immigration fraud targeting students

FILE PHOTO: The main entrance to the Canadian Border Services Agency border crossing at the Thousand Islands Bridge after it was announced that the border would close to “non-essential traffic” to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the U.S.-Canada border crossing at the Thousand Islands Bridge in Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Filipe/ File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian authorities on Friday charged an Indian man for issuing fraudulent university letters of acceptance to Indian students and other immigration-related criminal offences.

Brijesh Mishra, a citizen of India, is facing five charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said in a statement.

CBSA said it had launched an investigation after receiving information about Mishra’s status in Canada and his alleged involvement in activities related to “counseling misrepresentation.”

Canada is a popular destination for international students since it is relatively easy to obtain a work permit. Official data show there were more than 800,000 foreign students with active visas in Canada in 2022, including some 320,000 from India.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported that several students from India had been served deportation papers for using forged documents to enter Canada in an alleged immigration scheme.

The acceptance letters appeared to have been written by universities but the Canada Border Services Agency informed the students the documents were fake and warned them that they could face deportation, according to the CBC report.

“Our government is taking action against those who are responsible for fraud, while protecting those who’ve come here to pursue their studies,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a statement on Friday.

Last week, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced a freeze on the planned deportation of dozens of students who entered the country using fraudulent university letters.

(This article appeared in Reuters service June 23, 2023)



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