Fake international students commit fraud to work illegally in Canada: Immigration experts

Immigration experts say tens of thousands of supposed international students are scamming the system to work illegally in Canada, especially in the transportation industry.
Immigration experts say tens of thousands of supposed international students are scamming the system to work illegally in Canada, especially in the transportation industry.

Nearly one-third of international students were believed to not be enrolled in a Canadian school in 2015, according to a recent report from Statistics Canada, and an immigration expert says it’s an elaborate scheme to bring in cheap, illegal workers.

Richard Boraks, an immigration lawyer for Worker Canada, said that these student visa holders are abusing the system.

“A lot of kids, including a lot from India, are coming here, and there is a structured, systematic racketeering operation going on to bring them here knowing full well a) they’re not students and b) they’re never going to study,” said Boraks. “It’s a heavy duty scam operation. And they are destined to become illegal workers.”

The Statistics Canada report, which was conducted by researchers Marc Frenette, Yuqian Lu, and Winnie Chan, found that 30.5 percent of student visa holders were not attending a Canadian post-secondary school four years ago.

The report said that the number of temporary residents with a post-secondary study permit increased by 46.1 percent in recent years. The number went from 201,186 students in 2009 to 294,020 in 2015.

The report said that this is an improvement from 2009. In 2009, about half of all international students were believed to be enrolled in a post-secondary school despite being in Canada on a study permit.

Harpreet Kochhar, assistant deputy minister of immigration, told a conference of immigration consultants that about 10 percent of student visa applications are fraudulent.

The student visa rejection rate has increased from 24 percent in 2014 to a high of 39 percent this year.

Project Atlas reported that Canada was ranked fifth in the number of international students admitted in 2018. Canada issued 370,710 student visas.

Boraks said that illegal workers posing as international students often go into jobs in the transportation industry. He said that these illegal workers have suppressed wages, taken jobs away from Canadians, and caused vehicle accidents.

“They have gutted the transportation industry,” said Boraks. “Driving a truck before was a well-paid job. It was an honourable job.”

“And now, because of the abuse of the immigration process by scammers centred in Brampton and Surrey, the trucking industry is dominated by corruption in the immigration system.”