Canadians are typically known worldwide for being polite and courteous, but one thing that's not really promoted is our counterfieting operations.
Three Canadians who obtained teaching visas in Korea using false degrees have been confirmed by the Consulate of Korea here in Vancouver. These men were among seven others that were arrested in Seoul in connection with false degrees or the employment of unqualified teachers.
The Korean government, like many others around the world, grants teaching visas to applicants that have at least a bachelor's degree from an English-speaking university or an English-language diploma from a non-English speaking country.
According to the consulate, the Canadians have been working as unqualified teachers at private institutions. They managed to get into the country by presenting fake degrees from respected institutes such as the University of British Columbia, the University of Manitoba and the University of Northern B.C. Employers can quite often spot fake degrees a mile away, but it's a bit more difficult when the credentials look authentic and come from well known schools.
What I find astounding about this is the fact that they almost got away with this. Someone was clearly asleep at the switch when these three were hired. Typically education credentials are confirmed first by the employer, and then by the government that's issuing the working visa. Most people who bought quick passage through education are typically weeded out by this process. But oddly enough, the fakes in question must have been so compelling that nobody thought to contact the schools and confirm their validity.
I'm curious to know what the consequences of these actions will be. Naturally, these men will be deported back to Canada and likely barred from re-entry into Korea, but will there be any consequences they'll have to face upon their return? In a situation like this, who pays for the mandatory flight back to Canada?
Perhaps Japan will now review the validity of their English teachers. If a bunch are found to be fakes, then there should be an even greater market for native English speakers in the country. This might just give me the opportunity to work closer to Reiko :P