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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Student visas for sale – in Canada

Sometimes you meet students and you wonder how they are still in Canada.

I saw one the other day in the Indian Punjab who first got a visa to start a Bachelor degree at a university in western Canada. But after just one month he left that university campus to attend one of the big public colleges in Toronto (a theme for another day !) After finishing his diploma in eight months he worked for a year, and when his work permit expired, he needed to find a way to keep his original four-year student visa valid, by enrolling in full-time studies. But where to find another admission somewhere in Canada without actually having to go to class ?

Not hard to find. As the young man explained, there was a private college in Toronto which was all too happy to admit him to a program for a “discounted fee” of $1,500. He does not have to attend any classes, and as he explained, few of the registered “students” there do. But for the private college (and this was not the only one like it which provides this service), it’s an easy pay day, playing off the system and regulations for someone on a student visa to be registered somewhere. In this way, the young guy gets to go back to Punjab and when he returns to Canada, he is still under the guise of being a student.

Easy money and a college doesn’t need to hold classes or hire teachers!

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About Mel

Mel has consulted universities, colleges, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of international education since 1997. He is co-founder of Higher-Edge, the parent of Overseas, Overwhelmed, and a director of the Canadian University Application Centre. He is a former award-winning CBC reporter and holds a Masters degree from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.

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