Karamjeet Kaur, 25, faces removal from the country by May 29. The Immigration and Refugee Board, a government agency with a mandate to resolve immigration cases, turned down her request to remain in the country. Experts say it could be a precedent for other fraud victims who face deportation.
The agent in India used the same fraud scheme with a number of students who wanted to come to Canada to study. Various media reports have suggested that up to 700 people from India were victims.
In 2018, her family spent their life savings to send her to college in Canada. Her agent provided her with a letter of admission from Seneca College in Toronto, which she used to obtain a study permit. However, when she arrived in Canada, the agent told her that Seneca had no space for her and that she should attend a private college.
Instead, she applied to another public college, NorQuest in Edmonton, was accepted and completed her business degree in 2020.
However, when Kaur applied to become a permanent resident the following year, the Canadian Border Services Agency told her that the Seneca admission letter was fake. In January, the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that she had entered the country illegally and issued an exclusion order.
“I was really shocked. I’ve already been here five years”
The board reached the decision despite acknowledging that Kaur was a victim of the agent’s fraud.
“I do find that her testimony was credible; there’s nothing in her testimony that would suggest to me that she didn’t genuinely believe that she was admitted to Seneca College,” the board official wrote.
However, the board ruled that Kaur should have contacted Seneca to verify her status, rather than relying on the word of her agent.
Kaur told the Canadian Press news agency that she was stunned to learn that the admission letter was fake and that she could be deported even after completing her degree and finding employment. “I was really shocked. I’ve already been here five years. Canada is my country now.”
The agent, Rahul Bhargava of Education and Migration Services, faces charges in India.