Canada study permit for 50-year-old Indian sparks fury, ‘You can’t just come here with a visitor visa and…' - Hindustan Times

Canada study permit for 50-year-old Indian sparks fury, ‘You can’t just come here with a visitor visa and…'

Jun 15, 2024 11:31 PM IST

Indian-origin man lambasted for entering Canada with a visitor visa and then transitioning to a study permit to supposedly extend his stay in the country.

Conversations related to visas and immigration are always sensitive matters owing to the cumbersome baggage (emotional, financial and official) attached. So, the announcement of one finally succeeding at crossing off all legal boxes to enter a country should ideally be a cause for celebration. However, one such recently surfaced case of an Indian-origin man securing a study permit for his Canadian stay had Reddit up in arms.

Reddit lambasts an Indian-origin man for entering Canada with a visitor visa and then transitioning to a study permit to supposedly extend his stay in the country.
Reddit lambasts an Indian-origin man for entering Canada with a visitor visa and then transitioning to a study permit to supposedly extend his stay in the country.

CanadaHousing2, a subreddit channel on the online discussion forum, shared the case of Prateek Bhai Gadhva, a supposedly 50-year-old Indian man who entered Canada using a visitor visa but ultimately got his study permit with the help of a Canada-based educational consultancy, GOAT Consulting Inc. Meanwhile, the firm also allegedly facilitated the approval of his wife's Spousal Open Work Permit.

The Reddit post also featured Gadhva's video as he introduced his story: “My name is Prateek Bhai Gadhva. I came here on Visitor Visa, and GOAT helped to get a Study Permit and I got the approval. And they also helped me to get my wife's Spousal Open-Work Permit. So, I came here to collect it.” Although the clip advertently appears to be a promotional bit, with the @goat.ca_ watermark stamped on it, netizens didn't hold back their fiery responses to the implausible possibility of a Study Permit for a man as old as Gadhva being approved, while other highly qualified individuals faced immeasurable rejections.

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Several social media users not only furiously seethed about the reported happenings but also urged a formal investigation against Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Concerns surrounding study permits/study visas

The fiery arguments on social media came after Canada announced in May that police clearance is not mandatory for individuals entering the country temporarily. Immigration Minister Marc Miller responded to queries surrounding the issue saying, “I have never said such certificates are required for temporary residents.”

His clarification followed the ongoing debates about security checks for temporary residents, especially in the wake of recent criminal cases. One such notable case centred around the June 2023 killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Subsequent reports notified that two of the arrested suspects - Karan Brar and Kamalpreet Singh - had reached Canada with student visas at their disposal.

About Study Permit in Canada, the official website of the Government of Canada, describes the Study Permit as “a document we issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada.”

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As for the eligibility requirements, the website calls to attention that the applicant can come to study in Canada if they are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI), prove they have enough to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses for themself and their family members coming with them to Canada and return transportation for themself and their family members. Additionally, the applicant must obey the law and have no criminal record. The person in question must also prove to an officer that they leave Canada when their study permit expires.

On the other hand, while most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada, short-term students coming to Canada for a program lasting six months or less don't need one.

Indian transitioning from a visitor visa to a study permit in Canada ignites heated debate

The original admin sharing the post fumed at the idea of paying “increased taxes" to “cover the costs of people like Prateek": “Let’s continue working hard and paying our increased taxes and increased rental prices/housing costs so we can cover the costs of people like Prateek Bhai a 50-year-old Indian man who came as a visitor now a student and his wife who is here on an open spousal visa. Canadians need to wake the f**k up.”

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Meanwhile, some others pointed out the hypocrisy of the system denying younger and qualified individuals job opportunities and housing.

A user responded with another instance and drew parallels between Gadhva and a supposedly 40-year-old female doctor who was denied the permanent residency (PR) status: “Yet they deny a female doctor PR because she is 40 years old. Yes a doctor was denied PR due to her age and sent packing. STUPID system. I thought open spouse visas were axed for non university masters and the like.”

More responses ensued and chimed in: “The doctor should’ve been the priority not this man who can’t speak English. Furthermore, if you can’t get licensed as a doctor in Canada, good riddance and get out.”

A third replied, “Foreign economic mobility coming into Canada like this is 100% at our expense. Even if this guy would work he's got 10-15 years minimum before retirement age. A tall fucking order for us to pay while we deny 20 and 30 year olds job opportunities and housing to give the entire third fucking world mobility. I'd say shameful but this country doesn't have any.”

As more incredulous gasps followed, another Reddit user questioned the grave possibility of this situation, urging for a clampdown on these supposed pathways to PR.

A user wrote: "How is this even possible?

Like I know there are immigration consultants and lawyers out there using unscrupulous and illegal ways of scamming the system into getting people visas.

But seriously how is this even possible?? Like unless they're openly committing fraud and claiming to the government that they've left the country before they re-applied for a different visa, it should be impossible for anybody on a visitor visa to convert it to any other visas. Our system is completely broken. We need to completely overhaul it with clear set rules with no exception.

You can't just come here with a visitor visa and convert it to a more permanent type of visa. We need to clamp down on these PR pathways that are strife with exploitation and fraud. This should be completely unacceptable to all Canadians no matter if they're far-left to far-right."

A similar comment trailed behind, "I don't understand how you can convert a visit visa to a study permit. I mean unless you're American, then all other nationals have to apply from their home countries. And save for that ludicrous loophole that let's you convert visit visas to work permits, I don't see how you'd be able to transition to a study permit that way

Either these visa companies are committing some fraud fuckery with the government, or they're straight up grifting people into thinking that they can pay money to move their tourist visas to study permits."

Eventually, a more infuriating bipartisan debate got dragged into the mess. “This makes me so angry because as a liberal human being I want to support the Liberal party but their heads are so far up their f***ing a**es it’s incredible. The Left has gone as crazy as the Right and it’s so disappointing to see because there are no good options for anyone,” someone commented.

On the contrary, numerous Internet users questioned how Gadhva was classified as a “student” at all. Others poked their disapproval at immigration lawyers. A different tone of the conversation worried about the “respectable Indian Canadians” being “lumped in with these ‘students’”: “This guy is the face of the problem. I feel bad for the respectable Indian Canadians (Canadians) who worked hard for our country. They are lumped in with these 'students' now and must hate it.”

Another person replied, “Why is it every time the only group who is abusing our system is from specific country (I’m South Asian Canadian myself) This is embarrassing for us Canadians.”

Check out the entire Reddit conversation here.


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