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Monday, March 16, 2015

Immigration expert: If I were to come to Canada to become terrorist, I would apply for "pretty easy" student visa

An immigration expert says the student visa process in Canada is "pretty easy." 
"If that was my goal, to come into Canada and either stay illegally, work illegally, or yes, become a terrorist, I would probably apply for a student visa," says Arne Kislenko, a professor at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto who specializes in immigration and national security. 

We told you earlier this week that a 33-year-old Pakistani man is accused of plotting to bomb the U.S. Consulate in Toronto and other buildings in the Financial District. The federal government is trying to get him deported. 

Jahanzeb Malik first came to Canada in 2004 on a student visa to study at York University. 

"Generally speaking, (the student visa) would rank as probably the easiest of the visas, in my opinion, to get," Kislenko says.  

Kislenko was an immigration officer for 12 years. 

"I'd come as an ESL student, where the threshold is much less (than university)," he says of the simplest way to get into the country. 

Kislenko says that Canada's immigration process, as a whole, is one of the most Liberal in the world. 

"I really get nervous when I hear in the media how onerous the immigration system in general is... that's ludicrous," he says. 

But Kislenko adds that he doesn't think the student visa process needs to change. 

"There are processes in place, whether it's immigration law, or criminal law, or even anti-terror law, which are abundantly adequate to do the job that they need to do."

He says that "we need and want" people to come and study here in Canada. 

"From a revenue-generating perspective, universities want it, the public wants it."

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