Indian international students scam visa systems worldwide

Canada’s Globe & Mail published a disturbing article on how international students, primarily from the Indian Sub Continent, are using education visas as a backdoor to accessing working rights and permanent residency:

International students say Canadian private colleges use agents working on commission, both here and overseas, who persuade student recruits that paying tens of thousands of dollars in tuition is the easiest way to get into Canada and work toward becoming a permanent resident.

In some cases, recruits say they signed up for courses they weren’t interested in or didn’t plan to attend because all they really wanted was a student work permit so they could get a job as soon as they arrived…

Since its initial investigation, The Globe has interviewed more than two dozen former and current international students in British Columbia and Ontario who feel disillusioned by their experience…

[Some] did not even attend classes. Instead, they say they worked more hours than legally allowed while trying to get a Canadian employer to sponsor them for permanent residency…

Private colleges are big business. In the provinces with the most international students, Ontario now has 476 college and university campuses approved to enroll international students, while B.C. has 256. Most are for-profit companies, regulated by provincial education authorities. They are generally smaller than publicly funded colleges and universities, face less public scrutiny and have lower admission standards… it is relatively easy for recruiters and consultants to get international students into private colleges, because they have lower entry requirements than public ones, including for English proficiency…

Exactly the same shenanigans have taken place in Australia, where the education system is an integral part of the immigration industry – effectively a way to buy backdoor permanent residency.

Like Canada, Australia has witnessed a proliferation of so-called “ghost schools” with few staff and minimal student attendance, with international students instead coming to Australia in search of working rights and residency:

Dr Bob Birrell said some interstate universities with “shopfronts” in Melbourne were ­offering cheap business and IT courses that provided minimum accreditation for a skilled visa application…

Dr Birrell said students who finished their degrees here could then apply for another student visa, the 485 visa, allowing them to stay and work in Australia for two more years.

“It has little to do with the excellence of the education that’s offered here,” he said. “It seems to be effectively selling access to jobs and ­permanent residence.”

Home Affairs Department figures show Indians are the biggest applicants of the 485 student visa, with the number granted to them rising from 10,015 in 2016-17 to 14,026 last year.

Many Indian students afterwards apply for permanent residency, with more than 4000 given skilled independent visas onshore in 2016-17…

City of Wyndham councillor and Indian-born education provider Intaj Khan said… “The way the migration system is designed you can’t decouple it, and the interstate unis are running a franchise model to take advantage of it,” he said…

The rorting was recently exposed in the ACT, where private colleges sprung up like mushrooms to cater for international students seeking permanent residency under the Territory’s skilled migration scheme:

“When the subclass 190 visa popped up, the students started streaming in,” Min Gurung, marketing and sales manager from JP International College, in Mawson said. The college experienced an increase of 300-400 students in the past year, with many students moving to the ACT with their partners and young families…

Unity College in Belconnen experienced an almost two-fold increase in its student numbers to about 50…

Some operators of the colleges are reluctant to speak out, with one reporting his institution had about 100 students before July last year. In the past year, that number grew to about 300 students…

It’s believed up to eight colleges have opened in the past year and more applications could be in the works…

Indeed, the lobby group representing international students in Australia – the Council for International Students in Australia (CISA) – admitted point blank that many students come to Australia in search of permanent residency, not because of the quality of education on offer:

The Council for International Students in Australia said foreign potential students were attracted to Australia by the possibility of migrating here…

The national president of CISA, Bijay Sapkota, said… “For people coming from low socio-economic backgrounds there has to be a value proposition. If they go home they will not get value. So there has to be a possibility of immigration.”

Clearly, policymakers need to put a leash on the tertiary education sector by removing the link between international students studying at a tertiary institution and gaining work visas and permanent residency.

Australia’s education sector must compete on quality and value alone, and not be abused as a backdoor pathway to permanent migration.

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Leith van Onselen
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  1. Federal data show immigration officials rejected more than one-third of all study permit applications last year, up from one quarter five years ago, because visa officers increasingly don’t believe foreign nationals will return home after studying.

    What a strange policy. What they should do is deport all of them unless they get a $150k/year salary within 12 months of graduating.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      What a load of rubbish. We need these freshly imported human capital to do the crap low paid no hoper unsociable jobs that locals won’t or can’t do like IT work.

  2. It appear to me that there is one solution to the myriad problems facing Australia, a very deep dark and brutal recession. The likelihood of such a solution is in my view 70 / 30

    • 100% agree. Unless something changes (recession would be the best way), our welfare state will cease to exist within the next decade.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      Agreed. A brutal recession won’t be pretty but it’s the only solution. That or war / revolution (even less pretty).

    • DominicMEMBER

      That should sort the wheat from the chaff. While locals can at least access the dole to see them through the visitors who have not yet managed to secure PR could be in a world of trouble. In fact, I think even if you have PR you can’t access the dole anyway for some time (anyone know?). And those visitors with speculator homes bought in recent years …. oh my …

  3. these systems are designed to be scammed to produce large number of cheap labourers who are pushed to breke the law which makes them even more vulnerable for exploitation

    why very few scam US international student visa system? Because it’s made for students not slave labour (US has different source of slave labour so they don’t need foreign students).

    In USA real academic students can work only 20h a week (like here) but only on campus (unlike here – so very few can find any work), Spouses cannot work at all (unlike here). After completing study they can work 1 year in their field (has to be approved) and after that they have same rights to get H1 like someone applying for work visa from overseas.
    Students doing vocational studies have no right to work at all, and have to have funds to pay for the entire period of studying prior to approval of the visa.

      • @John – 10 years ago I’d have had sympathy and be saddened to read this. Now, it brings me a bit of joy. More and more negative news, whilst not stopping the flow, might slow it a tiny bit. The more I look around and the more I feel out of place, the more I rejoice when I read things of this nature.

      • Some of foreign students (small percentage) do work illegally in US but it’s nothing like in Australia where the main goal of hundreds of thousands of foreign students is to come and work in Australia not to study.

        out of so many millions of foreign workers in USA students who work legally or illegally are a tiny minority, well behind people who crossed the border without visa, people on working visas or those who overstayed tourist visas

        In Australia, foreign students are large majority of non-resident workers, outnumbering people on all working visas, working holiday visas etc

      • @chgsyd It’s not just a matter of ‘looking around’, we are being bombarded by foreign languages (not just from tourists) in pubic places, transport and in offices now. We are being bombarded by conflicting cultures.

        To qualify, this is a matter of culture, not race.

      • Australians would benefit from learning other languages, every time time I go to western Europe I get ashamed how well people (almost all people) speak other languages and that doesn’t make them less Dutch or Danish

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        To qualify, this is a matter of culture, not race.

        LOL. Of course it is. Because we all know how easy it is to pigeonhole someone’s “culture” based on the language you think they’re speaking.

  4. the problem isn’t isolated to the students, from the 127 cases on appeal at the AAT in relation to an adverse decision being made by ASQA against an RTO, 97% were owned and managed by the same demographic……it really makes you think.

    • If you clamp down on international students, it will just go underground.

      Indian students working for Indian bosses in Indian suburbs serving Indian customers speaking Hindi.

      No English or Australians in the picture at all. As soon as you introduce them, the risk of wage claims become to great. Easier for the slave to never make a wage claim if they never develop English skills.

      This is why any action needs to be from the top-down: disallow students from working, no work visa/PR on degree completion, $30,000/year minimum fee for any degrees. Much easier to investigate a few dozen colleges than hundreds of thousands of workplaces and individuals.

      Or, just let them come in as slaves, as the Gulf States do, but don’t give them PR! They will just become Labour voters and welfare drainers anyway.

  5. The subcontinental students I’ve dealt with haven’t…how can I put this…they haven’t been the brightest, either. Same for the Chinese, come to that. We’re definitely not getting their best human capital.

    It’s all a part of the great program of invasion by immigration leading to cultural replacement. I fear for my children.

    • To be fair, Australia is not really among the brightest in the western world, not even in the Anglo world. So why should the brightest of the third world come here?

    • Before or after the Chinese one?
      Before or after the RBA one?

      Before or after the APRA one?

      Before or after the construction one?

  6. Should we really be making these other countries worse off via brain drain?

    In their country they could make a difference.
    Here? Some sort of highly redundant job – just like most of us.

    • I think they may make their home countries better off through remittances and easing the demands on scarce resources there.

  7. Am I the only one who feels MB is going down the drain with headlines like these? Focus on immigration, not immigrants, please.

    • DominicMEMBER

      To the extent that human beings will always rort a system if it’s ripe to be rorted you are correct, it is unquestionably a case of “Don’t blame the player, blame the game”, however, I think the title was more a reflection of The Globe & Mail’s article which specifically identified those from the sub-Continent as the largest transgressors, in which case it amounts to:

      Don’t shoot the messenger

      (We are all adults here, not snowflakes. If truth offends, go elsewhere. It’s a free world)

    • The behaviour of immigrants, has a huge impact on how immigration impacts on Australia. It is very relevant. It isn’t just about the numbers.

      The Elephant in the Room is there is a major issue with the quality, outcomes and behaviour of migration from the Sub-Continent.

      It’s not rac1sm. It’s a matter of behaviour and culture, as well as sheer numbers.

  8. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    After 10+ years of this there must be millions of elderly parents and wives coming out

    • How many elderly parents come out on a visa and don’t go back, to then use borrowed Medicare cards and end up in emergency rooms for treatment?

  9. I recently took the family back to Canada to visit family and friends. I stopped by the not so local anymore ANZ to reset my credit card password first thing in the morning as I don’t use it much.
    The first couple in line waiting for the doors to open was a young Indian couple, upon opening they were first to the teller and everybody could hear their conversation.
    The Indian girls English was ok to a point, his…not so much to put it nicely. They simply could not grasp after being told numerous times that their credit card was overdrawn at $24k and that they had not been paying the minimum payments.
    Each time the teller told them they had to make the payments they either didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand, I assumed at the time they were students.
    I wonder how many students are in the same boat and how much money the banks have lent them, the pressure on these students can be coming from back home and different sources here, not my way to live life.

    • Similar story to mine. Identity was stolen, went to my local CBA to reset everything. Sitting there waiting and a young Chinese girl is being told that no, you don’t qualify for any loans and no, we can’t increase your CC limit any more and no you can’t transfer your debt to a personal loan and no you can’t get another CC.

  10. Immigration fraud into Australia, and Canada and anywhere else is likely to continue until there is no better place to live than the countries immigrants are coming from. Australia can do little to improve living conditions in those countries, it is up to the populations there. Similarly for Australia, it is up to the people living here to at least vote for their own best interests. Unfortunately there is no agreement on what that is.

  11. nexus789MEMBER

    “Australia’s education sector must compete on quality and value alone, and not be abused as a backdoor pathway to permanent migration”. Never going to happen. I grew up with Indians at school in the UK. None of this behavior surprises me at all. Politicians are idiots.

  12. Blocking students pathway to permanent residency is not an effective strategy since people who studied from oversea countries with lesser education standards than Australia are actually given same PR.
    Fact findings of some Masters students in Australia shows that it is extremely difficult to make tuition and living expenses bills while studying, and still have good grades or graduate when you are suppose to.
    These students have actually contributed to Australia’s economy by remitting most or all or even more than their earnings in Australia as tuition and expenses.
    Australia’s education is one of if not the most expensive education system for international students globally.
    Students who pay thier dues and eventually graduate deserve that residency spot and privileges than someone educated elsewhere having it automatically.
    Permanent migration is for immigrants’ from developing or third world countries. There is no point for a skilled worker leaving his developed country, for example, US or Denmark to seek PR in Australia. Should they seek it, then its just for the love of the country and not for the privileges and a better life.
    Human capital is a major factor in a nations development, as it is, Australia is underpopulated and may never have the capacity to be a global shaker. Australia’s land mass and resources are so enormous that if it had a good population number, most of these resources would be utilized by its population hence leading to self dependency, then the economy can be minimally affected if china and the US or any other well populated trading partner decides to play cat and mouse games.
    Finally, Australians should encourage responsible and quality immigration and take their leaders to account for lack of infrastructural development. A mansion is suitable for 10 people and a castle for a hundred people. Australia would be great with the necessary infrastructure to cater for its population growth.