How to Avoid Student Visa Scams

How to Avoid Student Visa Scams's photoBy Ernest Emeka
Thu Aug 24 2023
How to Avoid Student Visa Scams

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 None of them suspected they had fake admission letters to study in Canada. Adekunle, a trader, had sold his property for a diploma and helped his wife resign from her bank job for their relocation. Ahmed, a 19-year-old from a wealthy family in Sokoto, was willing to spend more for his undergraduate degree. Along came the last victim, Ebere, who has suffered multiple visa rejections from different embassies. She wanted to travel, and when the immigration consultant introduced a study visa, she bought into it immediately. 

The problem started when they came to Canada. They realized that their admission was fake, and when they contacted their immigration consultant, he told them their admission slots were unavailable despite getting admission letters from a particular school. The hard-earned money they paid the consultant went down the drain, and they felt exploited. 

These students trusted the wrong consultant and became victims of a complex student visa fraud. The great study abroad dream became a nightmare that would haunt them for years. They were deported, and the consultant disappeared to date. 

With Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK taking the top slots among international students, some unscrupulous agents have exploited students' desperation to issue fake visa papers. For instance, Canada recently witnessed an embarrassing moment when hundreds of Indian students got caught with fake admissions. 

Read: Employment Scam: A Guide for International Students 

How to Avoid Student Visa Scams

The Study Visa Fraud

Whether you want to study in the US or Asia, student visa scam happens in any country. Student visa fraud can land students in immense trouble and watch them suffer endless financial hardship, especially those who borrowed funds to study abroad. Sometimes, these fake agents feed on students' emotions and sad stories to create bogus admissions.
We have noticed some students want agents to become miracle workers when they cannot get their study abroad requests. As a result, fraudulent agents promise students a package that allows them to work and study. Student visa allows students to work for a stipulated number of hours weekly.

International students who fail for this gimmick end up losing their hard-earned money. Today, student visa fraud has become a common scam that developing countries suffer in the hands of fraudsters.  

How Fake Agents Operate

Many fake agents take advantage of the following:
1.    Student’s desperation to relocate abroad
2.    People’s naivety
3.    Laziness in research
While paying for help to relocate abroad is rewarding and good, especially when you use reputable apps like Japaplus or trusted agents, you must research to help you understand the process.

Read: How to get US Social Security Cards for International Students

What are the Warning Signs to Look for to Avoid Student Visa scams?


The University is Non-accredited or does not exist 

International students should thoroughly check out the schools they want to apply to. They must ensure that the school is accredited and legal. Red flags show when you realize the school's website has no information about its classes, student organizations, or alumni.

Agents Promise Full-time Work without Attending Classes

Many students fall for this juicy student visa package offering full-time jobs without attending classes. These students love the fact they don't have to study when they relocate. They erroneously believed that the student visa was a means to relocate abroad. 

Unfortunately, when you relocate with a student visa, you must study and work for a few hours, depending on the country. For instance, you don't work more than 20 hours during school periods in the United Kingdom and can work more during vacation. 

In addition, most companies would not employ students or sponsor them for a work permit.

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Agents say Different Things from the Official Websites

You must not swallow everything the agent tells you without doing your research. Ensure that the agent says the official school website is displaying, especially its clear guidelines on different aspects of your studies abroad.

Read: US Visa Applications Guide for International Students

You Received Unconditional Offers

A major red flag happens when you receive an unconditional offer from a school you didn't know. If you have allowed the agent to search for schools for you, that's understandable. However, a red flag is when your agent assures you of admission to a school before application.

Agents Can’t Answer Academic-Based Questions

If your agent cannot answer your academic questions and course requirements, you should take a step backward. Don't consider agents who don't want to know about your academic qualifications before discussing work opportunities abroad.

Lack of Accountability

You cannot claim ignorance of enrolling into a fake university abroad. You don’t stand a chance if you relocate abroad and discover that you have a fake admission. The country will deport you without offering you another admission opportunity.

Read: Top 10 Canadian Scholarships for International Students

How to Avoid Visa Fraud as an International Student?


Nobody can Guarantee a Student Visa

The only body that can offer you a student visa is the consular or immigration officer. They offer you a visa based on their discretions. An agent can help you improve your chances of getting a visa but cannot assure you of a visa. You must meet the criteria required before you can have a visa. If you default on any requirement, you will lose your visa.

Research before Applying for a Visa

You must understand that visa policies often change. Before you apply for a student visa, you should visit the country's immigration website to learn about their requirements and policies. With this information, it becomes easier to apply for a visa, and the documents you are presenting are the same as the website requirements.

You Should Verify Agents

You can easily verify agents online by checking their customer reviews and what they display on their websites. Word-of-mouth recommendations have become what many people consider before they use agents online. The reviews left behind cannot be faked, 

especially on reputable platforms. Go through customer reviews and agents' websites to avoid pitfalls. 

How to Avoid Student Visa Scams

Ask for an Itemized Bill

There must be a price tag for agents' services. You should know what you are paying for and the cost to help you choose. When you have an itemized bill, it helps you avoid hidden charges.

Use Trusted Agents /Do It Yourself

If you cannot do it yourself when applying for admission or a student visa, you can use trusted platforms like Pay4Me App for cross-border payments and consultations. Many of these agents have well-detailed websites with information on how to apply to schools and make your payments.

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