Indian students in Canada province face deportation, India says not aware of it

Hundreds of Indian students in Prince Edward Island, a province in Canada, are protesting as they face being deported to India after a sudden change in the provincial immigration rules. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), however, has stated that it has no reports or updates on the issue.
Indian students in Canada province face deportation, India says not aware of it
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Hundreds of Indian students in Canada's Prince Edward Island are facing deportation because of the recent change in provincial laws and are protesting. India's Ministry of External Affairs, however, said it had no reports or updates on the deportation of Indian students from Canada.

The protest has entered the second week and the Indian students say they will continue to fight for their rights as it is a "now-or-never situation".

"A large number of students have gone to Canada to study. The figure is pretty significant. But we haven't come across several students facing deportation... We do not have any updates on that. We are not aware. There may be one case here or one case there. But we don't see any major problem as far as students in Canada are concerned," said MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal while briefing the media.

As the protest entered the second week, the Indian students say they are fighting for their rights.

"2nd week of the protest, and we are still strong. We don't want free, we want fair," Protest Pei, a handle on X on the protest by Indian students, posted.

The protest handle said it was a "now-or-never situation".

The protesting Indian students called an assembly meeting on May 23. The meeting will be held at 175 Richmond Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Prince Edward Island, a Canadian province, recently changed the rules of its Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) to reduce the number of immigrants. A huge number of immigrants was putting strain on its healthcare and housing infrastructure.

The protesting Indians accuse the provincial Canadian government of suddenly changing immigration rules and refusing them work permits. According to reports, these students, despite having graduated, are now facing deportation.

The Indian protestors are demanding an extension of work permits and a review of the recent changes to immigration policies.

"We have three demands that we are focusing on," said Rupinder Pal Singh, a leader of the protest, who came to Canada from India in 2023.

"First, we demand to be grandfathered into the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) system because we were already here, working on valid work permits, before the new rules were implemented. It is only fair that those who were present before the changes be allowed to continue under the old system," Singh said.

"Secondly, we call for fair PNP draws without a point system. Recently, sales and services, food sectors, and even truckers have been excluded from the PNP draws, despite our hard work and contributions. We deserve the same opportunities as other sectors, and the current point system, which requires 65 points, is nearly impossible for those under 25 to achieve," he said.

"Lastly, we demand an extension of our work permits. Due to the government's changes and economic issues, our work permits were effectively wasted, causing many of us to lose our jobs. It is only fair that our work permits be renewed to compensate for the lost time and opportunities," Singh added.

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Indian students in Canada province face deportation, India says not aware of it

The protest by immigrant students began on May 9.

Source: India Today

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