June 3, 2014

Changes and Key Tips for International Students

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

As of June 1, 2014, new rules have come into place with respect to study permits in Canada. Students must actively pursue studies, remain enrolled, and make reasonable and timely progress towards completing their program; failing to do so could lead to removal from Canada. With the effect of the new rules, an international student’s education institution will report to CIC on their continued enrollment and academic status while in Canada. A study permit will now become invalid 90 days after the completion of the educational program. A program is considered completed when a student receives written notification of program completion. This can be in the form of a transcript, degree, certificate, diploma or an official completion letter from the educational institution. This does not apply if the application for a study permit was received before June 1, 2014, or if a study permit was issued before June 1, 2014. Students applying for a study permit after June 1, 2014, must show proof of funding to cover:

o    Tuition fees;

o    Living expenses for themselves and/or any family members who will be coming with them to Canada; and,

o    Return transportation for themselves and/or any family members who will be accompanying them while in Canada;

A student must also provide a police certificate showing that they are a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record, and they must be in good health and willing to undergo a medical examination, if necessary. Finally – and importantly – the student must satisfy an immigration officer that they will leave Canada and the end of their authorized stay.

With the new rules in effect, full time students will be eligible to work off campus without a work permit for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic year.  They will now be able to work off campus immediately rather than waiting 6 months.  Although the new rules exempt students from obtaining a work permit, students will be required to obtain a Social Insurance Number from Service Canada prior to commencing any on or off campus jobs. After completing a program of study, if a student is offered a job and wishes to remain and work in Canada, they can apply for a post-graduation work permit. If they have not been offered a job, however, they must apply for a visitor visa after completion of the program. Overall, these new rules are designed to reduce the potential for fraud or misuse of the program.