Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Protect International Students in Enrollment Scam

Brampton Regional Councillor Navjit Kaur, representing Wards 2 and 6, is deeply concerned about the alarming situation faced by approximately 700 international students in Canada who have fallen victim to a fraudulent college enrolment scam. These students, who arrived in Canada between 2017 and 2018 on valid student permits, have been deceived by unscrupulous immigration consultants and unauthorized agents employed by certain colleges.

“I feel the pain of these students who have been unjustly targeted by a fake college enrolment scam,” expressed Councillor Brar. “While the blame is being placed on the students, it is important to recognize that the real culprits are the colleges themselves, which have engaged unlicensed agents and ghost consultants to recruit students. It is high time that strict action is taken against these colleges to ensure accountability and prevent such incidents from recurring.”

Councillor Brar recently visited student protests in Mississauga and witnessed firsthand the anguish and frustration of these students, who have invested significant sums of money into their education. These students have not only contributed to Canada’s billion-dollar education industry but have also been actively contributing to the Canadian economy. It is disheartening to witness their dreams shattered due to the deceptive practices employed by certain institutions.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal aspects surrounding this issue, Councillor Brar sought advice from Canadian lawyers and Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs). According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), only Canadian lawyers, RCICs, or Quebec Notaries are authorized representatives for individuals seeking immigration and study permits. Working with authorized representatives ensures compliance with regulations and safeguards students against fraudulent practices.

However, some colleges are involved in the practice of engaging ghost consultants who file applications on behalf of students. These unauthorized consultants who offer immigration services outside the law and create GC Keys under the student’s name, bypassing accountability and credibility often leading to legal issues for students.

Councillor Brar believes that the provincial government must take the first step in addressing this matter, as education falls under their jurisdiction. The Ontario government should intervene and demand that colleges terminate agreements with ghost consultants and aggregators, and instead grant agreements exclusively to authorized representatives.

Additionally, it is crucial to highlight that if such incidents were to occur again in the future, action can be taken against authorized representatives, thereby increasing accountability within the system.

Furthermore, it is crucial to emphasize that a significant number of post-secondary education institutions openly disclose their agent network and partnerships on their official websites. 

It is worth noting that individuals can verify the authorization status of agents through the Government of Canada’s ‘Find out if your representative is authorized‘ option. This resource provides transparency and allows prospective students to make informed decisions when choosing their representatives for immigration and study permit processes.

“It is imperative that we draw attention to this issue and seek the assistance of the media in bringing it to the attention of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, and the opposition,” stated Councillor Brar. “By doing so, we aim to prevent anyone else from enduring the hardships faced by these students. We need to protect the core values of our country and ensure that international students are treated with dignity and respect, rather than being treated as mere commodities.”

Councillor Brar calls for a reform within the education system, as some college websites proudly mention that ghost consultants bring the highest number of students. This practice hampers the recognition of authorized representatives and prevents them from obtaining student recruitment agreements.

The Canadian government’s ability to take action against ghost consultants located outside the country is limited. Therefore, collaborative efforts between government bodies, educational institutions, and the media are crucial in addressing this issue effectively.

Councillor Brar seeks the media’s support to shed light on this distressing situation and initiate meaningful discussions with Premier Doug Ford, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, and the opposition. Together, we can create a fair and transparent education system that upholds the values Canada stands for.

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