Volume 95, Issue 62

Wednesday, January 23, 2002
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Grad in student-teacher sex scandal

Students: love to talk about porn

Federal report alleges student visa fraud

Coppers to meet with Unity

"That's why they call it mass transit"

Bigwigs celebrate innovation

News Briefs

Federal report alleges student visa fraud

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

According to an internal Canadian Immigration Department document, many Chinese students have been granted admission into the country after using fraudulent information to acquire student visas.

According to published reports, the document revealed that some Chinese students arrive in Canada, but fail to attend university. Others remain in the country after getting their degree without applying for permanent entry.

Immigration spokeswoman Susan Scarlett stressed both the challenges of combating fraud and noted the effectiveness of the department's student program to monitor thousands of applications every year.

"This is a report on cases of fraud that we have detected. The report is on successes of [our] anti-fraud units," Scarlett said.

Western sociology professor Roderic Beaujot found the report surprising. "I haven't come across this in the graduate program [where] we take students from China," he said.

According to Michael Tang, president of Western's Chinese Students' Association, the Canadian government should do more to review applications to detect fraud and assist those in need.

"Due to the high population [in China], it definitely causes a lot of stress for graduates looking for a job," he said.

"It is a fact that a lot of graduating students find Canada a more suitable place for themselves and decide to permanently stay here to look for a job," Tang said.

Beaujot said he did not feel the government should give any one country's students special privileges.

Scarlett defended the department's application process and its record. "We have a universal [application process]. Applications are assessed on their own merits," Scarlett said.

"In 2000, we dealt with almost 82,000 applications. We were able to approve [roughly] 83 per cent. Combating fraud is always going to be a challenge," she said.

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