Ottawa: Providing major relief to international students who are facing a threat of deportation over fraudulent acceptance letters, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser halted deportation on a temporary basis. 

Addressing a press conference at Parliament Hill on Wednesday, Sean Fraser said many of these international students sincerely came to Canada to pursue their studies and were duped by bad actors who claimed to be helping them in their immigration application process. 

He said, “I understand that this situation is distressing for those affected by unscrupulous actors, and I want to assure them that their well-being is of paramount importance. As a result, I have already struck a taskforce of my officials and have asked them to work closely with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to identify the victims of fraud; that is, those students who came to study here in Canada and did exactly that,”

In an important announcement, the immigration minister said he wants to make it clear that international students who are not found to be involved in fraud will not face deportation. 

“The Immigration Refugee Protection Act offers me discretionary authority which I believe should be exercised in the present context. Therefore, if the facts of an individual case are clear that an international student came to Canada with a genuine intent to study, and without knowledge of the use of fraudulent documentation, I have provided instructions for officers to issue a Temporary Resident Permit to that individual. This will ensure that these well-intentioned students and graduates can remain in Canada, and ensure that they are not subject to the 5-year ban from re-entering Canada that normally follows in cases of misrepresentation,” Sean Fraser said in a statement. 

He further said, “While this process runs its course, preliminary Temporary Resident Permits will be issued if they are required in order to prevent an imminent deportation for anyone under review.”

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