Home Travel & Adventure Irish Schools Express Concern Over Financial Impact of Fake Student Visa Scams

Irish Schools Express Concern Over Financial Impact of Fake Student Visa Scams


A recent surfacing visa scam of non-EU citizens purchasing fake documentation for Irish residence permits has made Dublin language schools concerned since the enrollments have dropped significantly.

This has caused the institutions to cut fees and lay off staff, while students found guilty of such scams can face deportation from the Schengen Area and a potential ban of five years, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

The scheme includes foreign students, especially those from Brazil, paying for fake school enrollment letters to obtain Irish residence permits for study purposes or study visas.

Language Schools Affected by the Fraudulent Scheme

A Dublin language school revealed that its enrollment dropped significantly, which led the executives to cut fees and let go of some of the staff members.

Sudesh Jewon, chief executive officer of Dublin College of Advanced Studies (DCAS), told the Irish Times that the school was notified about the scam some months ago after being contacted by the immigration authorities.

Somebody was trying to come in with a fake letter. It is something serious as these people are not coming to school. They’re getting forged letters.[Then] they’re going to the Immigration [Service Delivery] and getting their visas.

Sudesh Jewon, Chief Executive Officer, DCAS

The incident is expected to prompt more stringent documentation verification in order to not only shield students and education institutions but also protect the reputation of Ireland’s education system. In recent years, Ireland has been quite dedicated to improving its education system and attracting more international students.

Authorities Introduce New Verification Methods for International Students’ Documentation

Schools have started implementing new security measures against scammers, including QR codes in enrollment letters, which are directly linked to school records. In this way, schools and students are equally protected from fraudulent schemes.

Scammers have been charging between €600 and €1,800 for fake enrollment letters, which students later took to immigration authorities. In this way, they could obtain residence permits and a study visa, which would allow them to work up to 20 hours per week.

A student told the Irish Times that English schools’ fees were the main reason she pursued forged documentation. The price for a 25-week English course goes up to €3,900, while the renewal fee totalled €2,600. She paid a scammer €750

It’s a huge difference when you don’t have the money. It could be your only option.

Ana, a Brazilian student

According to data from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), 35,140 international students were enrolled last academic year in Ireland, indicating that almost one in seven students is an international student. This number is up from 31,720 in the 2021/22 academic year and 26,785 in the 2020/21 academic year.

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