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Overseas Education Agents – what you need to know

July 19, 2023 by Katie Enman, Immigration Consultant
Overseas Education Agents – what you need to know

Overseas Education Agents – what you need to know

Last month, a fraudulent education agent named Brijesh Mishra was arrested and charged by authorities in Canada after providing fake college admission letters to students from India for the purpose of obtaining Canadian study permits. Hundreds of these students are now flagged for deportation.

One of these students, V. Singh, applied for Judicial Review and on May 28, 2023, the Federal Court upheld a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board which found that while the student was not entirely complicit in the fraud, the outcome of the situation was not beyond his control. In other words, the student could not demonstrate to the Court he put reasonable effort into ensuring the accuracy of the information he was being provided by this agent.

Unlike authorized representatives (such as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants, RSIAs, and Canadian immigration lawyers), education agents are not licensed or authorized to provide services related to Canadian study permits. While many of these agents promote themselves as being registered or authorized in their home countries, no such designation exists in Canada. In other words, unless this agent is working directly for an RCIC, you should proceed with caution.

To prevent falling victim to such scams, it’s important to exercise caution and follow these general guidelines when thinking about applying for a study permit in Canada:

Research and Verify

Thoroughly research the school, immigration program, and individual you are interested in working with. Use official websites, government resources, and reliable sources to gather information. Verify the authenticity of the agent or representative you are dealing with. Educational Agents are not Immigration Consultants and are not authorized to apply for study permits on your behalf in exchange for a fee.

Contact the institution directly

Reach out to the educational institution directly to confirm the legitimacy of the agent and the documents provided. Use the official contact information available on the institution's website. Keep record of all phone calls and emails you make.

Be wary of unrealistic promises

Exercise caution if an agent promises guaranteed admissions or quick processing times that seem too good to be true. Legitimate processes often require time, proper documentation, and meeting specific criteria.

Report fraudulent activities

If you encounter a fraudulent agent or suspect fraudulent activities, report the incident to relevant immigration or educational authorities. This can help prevent others from falling victim to the same scam.

As with all other immigration applications, the applicant is ultimately responsible for their file. It’s your duty to ask questions and ensure all the information being presented in front of an immigration officer represents the truth.

The article above is intended to provide general and non-case specific information on immigration related matters. It should not be used or relied on as formal legal advice.