New Measures Will Verify Foreign Students Letters Of Acceptance
TORONTO, (IANS) – In one of its measures to bolster the international student program and prevent abuse, Canadian immigration has launched an online portal to verify letters of acceptance that students submit in support of their visa application.
An LOA, submitted by the student to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), is an official confirmation that a student has received admission into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) — the only school in Canada authorized to accept international students.
Obtaining an LOA from a DLI, for which the portal has been launched, is the first step in the application for a Canadian study permit.
“We’ve developed a solution for designated learning institutions (DLIs) to make sure the letters of acceptance that students submit are genuine,” the IRCC said in a statement.
“The goal is to protect vulnerable students and preserve the integrity of the International Student Program,” it said.
Under this new system, the DLIs will now be required to verify the LOAs students submit via the online portal, which only their representative(s) to the IRCC will have access to, the CIC news website reported.
There is also a time frame to verify letters of acceptance, up to 10 calendar days, past which access will be denied.
So, if a DLI fails to validate the LOA within that time frame, or if they validate the letter as fake, the student visa application will be canceled and returned to the applicant.
In addition to the application, the students will also be returned any fees that they may have paid as processing costs, the CIC report said.
Canada started making massive changes in its student immigration system following the near deportation of 700 Indian students who were duped by a fraud immigration consultant by providing them fake admission acceptance letters.
Indian agent Brijesh Mishra is currently incarcerated in Canada and his trial is set to begin next month.
So far, he has been denied bail. The Canadian authorities arrested Mishra in June and slapped five charges on him, including those for counselling misrepresentation, misrepresentation and unauthorized representation or advice for consideration.
According to one of the Indian student’s lawyers, he has denied any involvement in the fraudulent activity even though there are more than 285 active cases which the Canada Border Services Agency has dug out during their investigation.
A leading destination for international students, Canada welcomed a record 551,405 international students from 184 countries in 2022. Beginning January 1, 2024, the Canadian government doubled the cost-of-living financial requirement for incoming international students.
This means that a single applicant will need to show they have C$20,635 ($15,181) in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs.