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Indian immigration consultant in B.C. jailed on Surrey, Punjab fraud charges

Multiple students came to Canada with educational letters of acceptance they believed to be genuine.
vancouver provincial court criminal
The Crown told the judge about three hours would be needed for the bail hearing.

An Indian immigration consultant alleged to have defrauded students coming to Canada is in a B.C. jail awaiting proceedings on charges related to events in Canada and in the Punjab.

Brijesh Kumar Mishra, 36, faces five charges connected with alleged immigration offences, including a significant number of fraudulent letters for Canadian post-secondary institutions to Indian students.

It was feared the situation could have imperilled students who arrived in Canada sincerely believing their studies were assured only to discover they had been duped.

Some students had been subject to immigration removal orders as a result of the situation but federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser laid those fears to rest in a June 14 statement.

“We believe there are significant aspects of fraud, that there are certain bad actors have been using to take advantage of students,” he said.

He added a task force would do case-by-case analysis of the removal orders on the basis of fraudulent letters of acceptance. Any pending removals will be halted in the interim and there will be a temporary permission to stay over the course of this period of consideration, he said.

Fraser said those genuinely in Canada with no knowledge of fraudulent activities would be allowed to remain for a few years.

Mishra made his second appearance on the charges before Vancouver Provincial Court Judge David St. Pierre on June 27.

It’s alleged in several counts that, between January 2016 and February 2020, in the Indian Punjab city of Jalandar, he aided and abetted directly or indirectly a person to induce and error in the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

It’s also alleged that he misrepresented facts or communicated misleading information.

The fifth count alleges that between April 17 and June 13, 2023 in Surrey as a temporary resident, he failed to leave Canada by the end of an authorized period in violation of the act.

The charges were announced by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) June 23.

“The charges announced today by the CBSA’s Pacific Region Criminal Investigations Section reflect our commitment to maintaining the integrity of Canada’s immigration system,” said CBSA spokesperson Nina Patel.

“Our officers worked diligently to investigate these offences and we will continue to do our best to ensure those who break our laws are held accountable," Patel said.

Crown prosecutor Jessica Lawn told St. Pierre about three hours would be needed for Mishra’s bail hearing.