The federal government says it’s prepared to crackdown on “bad actors” in the international student program if the provinces won’t.
Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller said Friday that provinces need to get serious about abuse of international student visas, which are rife with abuse either from forged university acceptance letters or dubious colleges accepting students without really educating them.
Miller’s announcement came in response to an investigation that uncovered over 100 cases of fraudulent student admission letters this summer.
In June, the immigration department launched a probe into a student visa fraud scheme that had been ongoing since 2017.
The probe investigated 2,000 incredulous student visas and discovered that approximately 1,485 applicants had issued fake letters of admission into colleges and universities. The majority of which had come from India, China and Vietnam.
Schools that accept international students will now have to confirm each individual applicant’s letter of acceptance with immigration officials as of Dec. 1 2023, according to Miller.
The minister said that the department will also be keeping a watchful eye on the schools themselves.
Additional plans are in the works to implement a new system that will benefit post-secondary institutions which offer higher standards of services and support for international students by September 2024.
Applicants with those schools will be given priority in relation to having their study permits processed.