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Canada announces measures to protect international students from admission fraud

Canada announces measures to protect international students from admission fraud

To combat fraud in international student admissions, Canada has announced three changes in the International Student Program. The focus is on “protecting students and weeding out those who try to take advantage of them,” says Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. The latest measures to prevent international student admission fraud are as follows:

Firstly, starting December 1, 2023, post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) will be required to confirm every student’s letter of acceptance directly with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This process aims to protect prospective international students from fraudulent individuals who attempt to scam students by providing them fake letters of acceptance.

Secondly, to coincide with the fall 2024 semester, IRCC will adopt a ‘recognized institution’ framework to benefit post-secondary DLIs that set higher standards for services, support, and outcomes for international students. DLIs with this status will benefit from priority processing of study permits for prospective students who wish to enrol at their campuses.

Lastly, in the coming months, IRCC will complete an assessment of the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program criteria and intends to introduce reforms to better calibrate it to meet the needs of Canada’s labour market, as well as regional and Francophone immigration goals.

“We recognize the significant social, cultural and economic benefits that international students bring to Canada, and for those benefits to continue, we must address challenges to the integrity of the International Student Program,” said IRCC in a statement.

International student fraud: Crackdown on fake admission letters

The measures to protect international students in Canada are the result of investigations into fraudulent admissions letters earlier in 2023. Later in June, IRCC formed a taskforce to work with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to assess the cases of affected students and graduates, with the intention of preventing the removal of students who had genuinely secured admission into Canadian higher education institutions. Of the 103 cases reviewed by October 12, 2023, 63 were found to be genuine students and 40 were not.

Also read: International students who fell prey to immigration fraud will not be deported from Canada

It is also worth noting that international education accounts for more than $22 billion in economic activity annually, greater than Canada’s exports of auto parts, lumber, or aircraft, and supports more than 200,000 jobs in Canada. The temporary drop in international students in 2020 resulted in a loss of more than $7 billion for Canada’s gross domestic product that year.

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