February 18, 2014
Canada Announces New Regulations for International Students
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has just announced new regulations for international students that will come into effect on June 1, 2014. Canada is a study destination of choice for many international students, and Canadian educational institutions benefit greatly from the inflow of funds from international students who pay higher tuition fees than domestic students. The new regulatory amendments are designed to prevent misuses of the program, and in so doing aim to strengthen Canada’s reputation for high quality education on the world stage.
Study permits will be limited to authorized academic institutions that are to be designated by each province and territory. This measure is to prevent fraudulent educational institutions from taking advantage of international students by offering programs they are unauthorized or unequipped to teach. The changes will also more closely monitor if international students issued study permits are actually enrolled and actively pursuing their studies while in Canada. Under the existing program, certain unregulated schools were known to operate ostensibly as “visa mills”. These schools were able to act as a means for foreign nationals to enter Canada, often for other purposes including illegal activity. The new regulations allow designated visa officers to issue removal orders in instances that students are not complying with the conditions of their study permits. There will also be a shorter period of time that international students can remain in Canada after the completion of their studies.
One major benefit to international students under the new regulations will be the improved ease of access to work permits throughout their time in Canada. International students will be able to obtain work permits and find employment off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during their study period, and full-time during study breaks and holidays.
Visitors to Canada will be able to apply for study permits from within Canada, without having to return to their home country first before applying. Below is a summary of the new regulatory changes:
New Regulations June 1, 2014
|Applicants must show that they intend to pursue studies in Canada when applying for a study permit.||Applicants must enrol in and continue to pursue studies in Canada. Failure to do so could lead to removal from Canada.|
|Applicants may apply for a study permit to pursue studies at any educational institution in Canada.||Study permits will only be issued to successful applicants who are pursuing studies at an educational institution that has been designated to receive international students.|
|Study permit holders pursuing studies at publicly-funded and certain privately-funded post-secondary institutions must apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit to be able to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks.||Study permit holders pursuing studies at publicly-funded and certain privately-funded post-secondary institutions must apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit to be able to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks.|
|Any international student can apply for a Co-Op Work Permit if a co-op placement is an integral element of their course of study.||Only international students who are pursuing studies at a secondary school or at a designated institution may apply for a Co-Op Work Permit if a co-op placement is an integral part of their course of study.|
|Visitors may not apply for a study permit from within Canada||Visitors may apply for a study permit from within Canada if they are at the pre-school, primary or secondary level, are on an academic exchange or a visiting student at a designated learning institution, or have completed a course or program of study that is a condition for acceptance at a designated learning institution.|
|International students who have completed their studies but hold valid study permits can remain legally in Canada until the expiration of their study permit.||A study permit becomes invalid 90 days following the completion of studies unless the foreign national also possesses a valid work permit or another authorization to remain in Canada.|
|There are no references in existing regulations that clearly state that Registered Indians who are also foreign nationals are exempt from the requirement to obtain a study permit.||Registered Indians who are also foreign nationals may study in Canada without a study permit as they have the right of entry into Canada.|
|Study permit holders are not authorized to work after the completion of their studies while awaiting approval of their Post-Graduation Work Permit||Eligible international graduates will be authorized to work full-time after their studies are completed until a decision is made on their application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.|
A grace period of 3 years will be introduced so that any international students currently attending non-designated educational institutions in Canada will be able to complete their programs of study. These students will also be able to renew co-op placements and existing off-campus work permits during this grace period, up to a maximum of three years.