Wanzhen Lu has escaped his captors in Bracebridge, ON. 2 hours north of Toronto according to police audio

I did some checking. It’s a newer online for-profit university originally registered in NB, now with accreditation in B.C. and Ontario.

It’s not like Alberta’s Athabaska / Open University in the sense that the latter is a public (provincial) university.

They seem to be HQ’d in a strip mall in Fredericton.

Online reviews are either 5-star (with little info to support the 5-stars, which makes me ask questions about who wrote them), or 1 or 2 stars by students (google or other) or staff (Glassdoor).

Seems like they want to grow into something like the Canadian version of Phoenix, but that they need cash. And so, they spent a lot of time marketing to cash rich Chinese to fill their bank accounts.

But here’s the thing... The students need a study permit. There are policy manuals which tell visa officers how to do their jobs overseas in the embassies, and how to issue visas.

The Immigration Department’s overseas processing manual for processing student visa applications gives the following instructions to visa officers regarding foreigners who want a long term student visa to live in Canada so as to study at a “correspondence university”:

Distance learning can be through e-learning, correspondence, or internet courses. Distance learning is a process by which technology is used in ways where the student does not have to physically be in the place where the teaching is taking place.

Since by definition distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, a study permit cannot be issued for this type of course. For example, if a foreign national authorized to work in Canada is prohibited from engaging in studies as per a condition of their work permit, they are allowed to engage in distance learning courses.

However, some distance learning courses include an in-Canada portion to the program (e.g., special tutorials or the writing of final exams). If the overall course of study is greater than six months, then the student requires a study permit for the in-Canada portion of the program, even if the in-Canada portion is less than six months. The duration of the study permit should be for the duration of the in-Canada portion only.

Seems he shouldn’t even be in Canada by the Immigration dept’s own policies (which they have in place because this could otherwise be a loophole by which foreign nationals could establish themselves, get post-secondary permanent resident status, and then sponsor their rich relatives).

This gives rise to more questions that need to be answered:

  1. How the hell did this guy get a student visa to study? Is this for-profit school rigging it so there is just enough in-class time in one of the 1-star online-rated classrooms to qualify for a student visa? (And this bring the school $30-$40k a year in tuition for their programs like Bachelors of Interior Design? Am not shitting you... This is what they’re offering, complete with grammar mistakes on their website).

  2. Who was the visa officer who issued this? How can their supervisors allow this? How can thus school be approved under these circumstsnces?

  3. This university has a site which says 800 graduates will travel to NB for a graduation ceremony from around Canada. Are they mostly all rich Chinese? Is the immigrarion department / CBSA going to do a spot-check to see if they even speak a lick of English after their 2-4 years spent in Canada doing a correspondence course? (To see if the immigration department’s own visa rules were broken)?

Lots or questions. Hopefully the media also finds this interesting.

/r/toronto Thread Parent Link - youtu.be