CIMM – Media Analysis – June 14, 2023

Student Fraud Issue

Since March 2023, the possible deportation of international students from India generated a high volume of coverage. Our scan detected over 60 individual articles, most of coming from online and international sources. There was also important coverage in national sources, such as CBC and the Toronto Star.

The most notable national coverage is a pair of reports published by CBC back in March. On March 17, CBC’s The Fifth Estate broadcast and published an investigation into the situation, at the time when this matter started to gather media attention. The article relayed comments by students who claimed to be victims of fraud, and that they did not know that the admission letters they received were faked. The article also relayed comments by a protest organizer who claimed that over 100 students were facing a similar situation.

Many of the articles shared stories of students facing deportation, such as Inderjeeet Singh, who has been living in the country for years, and was applying to become a permanent resident. Finally, there were comments by activist Jaspreet Singh, who advocated for stricter regulations, criticized abusive practices by agents, and insisted that this situation can cause serious trauma for students, and even suicide. As far as we can tell, there was no other mention of this in subsequent articles, and no students have publicly expressed suicidal ideations.

On March 31, another CBC/Fifth Estate investigation was published. It showed that the Indian authorities had arrested a travel agent accused of forging the student visa documents of dozens of international student who are currently facing removal orders from Canada, and that his partners were currently under investigation. According to the parents of one of the concerned students, this agent not only produced fraudulent acceptance document, but also cheated them out of a large sum of money which was supposed to cover tuition fees, Throughout the article, the number of students affected by this situation is said to be “dozens”.

According to most articles, 700 students were affected by this fraud, with a few also giving 150 as a number. However, it was noted in a March 20 article from the PIE News that “It is not clear how many Indian students are involved in the fraud. CBC News is reporting that there were “dozens” of students, while one news outlet in India said there were 700. Neither provided a source for these statements.”  Regardless, most articles since claim that 700 students are affected. This is especially true of international and online sources.

Notable Headlines:

Canada to deport 700 Indian students as visa documents found to be fake (The Economic Times, 2023-05-08)
700 Indian students who applied for study visas through Education Migration Services, Jalandhar headed by one Brijesh Mishra, have been issued deportation notices after their admission offer letters were found to be fake. The students were charged between Rs 16 to Rs 20 lakh for all expenses including admission fees to a premier institute Humber college. Air tickets and security deposits were not included in the payment to the agent.

700 Indian students face deportation from Canada as admission offer letters found fake (, 2023-03-18)
Experts said most of these students had already completed their studies, got work permits and gained work experience as well. It's only when they applied for PR, they landed in trouble.

Canada’s NDP calls on govt to waive deporting Indian students who arrived on fake admission letters (India Blooms News Service, 2023-05-31)
The Canadian government has reportedly been requested by the New Democratic Party (NDP) not to deport 150 Punjabi students, who, according to the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA), arrived on fake college admission letters.

Don't deport students in fraud case, MPs say (Toronto Star, 2023-06-08)
A parliamentary committee is calling on the Canada Border Services Agency to immediately stop deporting a group of Indian international students who have been deemed inadmissible after using fake college admission letters to enter the country.

Quotes from affected students:

Stakeholder Quotes:

Media Calls:

We have received a high volume of media calls related to this topic in the past few months, with about 35 total calls. In the week when this situation first came up, we received 15 calls. Since June 1, we have received 16 new calls. Most recent calls asked if the students will be allowed to stay, what will be done to prevent this in the future, and inquired about a recent comment by the Minister that a solution is being pursued. Most calls assume that the number of students being affected is 700, but a few mentioned 150 students. A currently ongoing call from CBC is asking for confirmation on the number of students.

Digital Media Analysis:

Since March 1, 2023, there have been 420 mentions with 1.93M impressions and 1.39M reach on Twitter of which more nearly 74% were retweets and only 14% were original tweets. Most of them originated in Canada followed by India and Nigeria.

Sentiment was mostly neutral or negative calling for justice and asking for the deportation to be stopped. 

Page details

Date modified: