Students from Punjab being looked with suspicion for admission in Canada Universities
December 23rd, 2007: A Senior Canadian Visa Officer recently has told a B.C. higher education delegation that the Indian state of Punjab has the highest crime and forgery rate anywhere and that institutions should be recruiting in South India instead.
Attorney General, Mr. Wally Oppal was not amused with the comments and has decided to take up the matter with Immigration Minister Diane Finley. He is upset about Canada’s falling rate of admission of students in universities. In recent years, students have been preferring admission to New Zealand, Australian or even UL universities which have faster approval.
Most experts feel that it is high time Canada should have introspection as to why it has dismal record of declining student admission rate. Is it because of incoherent strategic planning by provincial and federal governmental bureaucracies and of education institutions' own poor and weakly funded efforts.
Another reason for this declining rate is that overseas Visa offices are routinely consumed by scrimmages between officials from the two agencies. And on the marketing side, Ottawa spends much less promoting education in India than even single small British colleges do. Even New Zealand and Ireland, with a handful of universities to promote, have cohesive and coherent India strategies that surpass Canada's student totals.
In India, many Canadian universities and colleges engage recruitment agencies that are known to aid and abet fraudulent misrepresentation and their marketing plans are often poorly conceived.
As for cheating and fabrication of documents, it is because of Canada's overworked and under-resourced overseas immigration officers face with these varying challenges. Perhaps the visa officer in this case was trying to point out that our institutions should stay away from areas known for high rates of fraud in favor of those with low rates of fraud unless they invest in more rigorous screening. Honest people should not pay for the errors of others, but screening costs money, and institutions should to be prepared to pay for it.
Canadian student visas can take weeks or months to process, while student visas for the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand come through in as little as a single day. There is a great deal of inconsistency and unpredictability among Canadian visa officers; many lack the comprehensive training necessary to perform what is complex work.
Moreover, Canada lacks a more evolved and integrated system of checks against abuse, like the U.S. SEVIS system.