Study Permit Restrictions to Take Affect January 1, 2014

The Government of Canada has introduced amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations which will restrict which schools are eligible to have international students study at them.  Effective January 1, 2014, the issuance of study permits will be limited to international students attending designated learning institutions.

Currently, most provinces and territories have a mix of public educational institutions, private degree-granting institutions, and private non-degree-granting career colleges.  The latter are subject to varying degrees of regulations, and private language schools are generally not regulated at all.  Previously, any of these institutions could host international students on study permits.  Under the new regulations, however, only students attending designated institutions can receive study permits.

Designated institutions include:

  •  a learning institution that is administered by a federal department or agency;
  • if a province has entered into an agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in respect of learning institutions that host international students, a learning institution in Canada that is designated by that province under the agreement; and
  • if a province has not entered into an agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in respect of learning institutions that host international students, then any of the following:
    • a public post-secondary learning institution in Canada that is recognized by the province,
    • in the case of Quebec, a private post-secondary learning institution in Quebec that operates under the same rules and regulations as public post-secondary learning institutions in Quebec,
    • a private post-secondary learning institution in Canada that is recognized by the province and that is authorized by the province to confer degrees, but only in the case where the foreign national in question is enrolled in a program of study that leads to a degree as authorized by the province,
    • a learning institution within a public school board or district that is funded by and accountable to the province, or
    • an independent or private learning institution in Canada that delivers provincial curricula.

The government anticipates that, once implemented, the proposed amendments are expected to result in a loss of $517.8-million in tuition.  (Interestingly, they also anticipate an increase in tuition of $488.6-million at designated institutions.  It is not clear where this increase in students would come from, unless designated institutions across the country massively increase seat space to foreign students.)

The implication on the British Columbia economy, where there are an estimated 500 private schools, could be severe.  I simply do not believe that all of these schools will close.  More likely, I predict that the federal Conservative move is likely to put wind to the sails of the BC New Democratic Party’s efforts to re-regulate the province’s private non-degree-granting institutions, something they have been clamouring for for years.

Other recently announced changes to Canada’s study permit program include:

  • limiting the issuance of study permits to students attending designated learning institutions except in the case of visitors who wish to undertake courses or programs of study of six months or less for which a study permit is not required;
  • establishing new study permit conditions requiring all students to enrol in and actively pursue a course or program of study after arrival in Canada;
  • providing exemptions to protected persons, refugee claimants and certain family members from the proposed conditions on study permit holders;
  • allowing the issuance of removal orders in circumstances where students are not complying with their study permit conditions;
  • authorizing temporary residents already in Canada to apply for a study permit from within Canada if they are studying at the preschool, primary or secondary level, or have completed a course or program of study that is a condition for acceptance at a designated learning institution;
  • limiting access to international student work permit programs to eligible study permit holders attending a designated educational learning institution; and
  • authorizing international students attending designated institutions to work part-time during their studies provided they hold a valid study permit and are enrolled full-time in an academic, vocational, or professional training program of a duration of at least six months.

Student Partnership Program Expands to China : 中加學生合作計劃

The Canadian embassy in Beijing has expanded the Student Partnership Program originally launched in India to China.

The program creates a special processing channel at the Beijing visa office for students destined to member institutions of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, whose membership includes Camosun College, Douglas College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Vancouver Community College.  Students using the program will experience a far shorter wait time than normal applicants, in some cases less than two weeks.

The application form can be viewed here: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/china-chine/assets/pdfs/immigration/beijing/documents/SPP_Application_Kit_2010_07_EN.pdf

This story broke in today’s Ming Pao, both as a front page story, and as a small story with my comments here:

在技術移民難度顯著增加的情況下,加國駐中國大使館新推出的中加學生合作計劃,有望成為中國一般社會人士移民加拿大的新途徑。

移 民律師辛湉王(Steven Meurrens)指出,先到本地學院習得一技之長,又有實習經驗的留學生勢必更受加國移民部歡迎,只要符合規定,無論通過聯邦經驗類(CEC),還是省 提名類別(PNP)移民均更易成功,因為加國非常需要這些能夠通過技術服務社會、能有效融入本地的青壯年,他認為SPP有望成為一個新的移民增長點。

留 學顧問丁方方表示,通過留學移民的途徑日漸熱門,許多私立學校亦以此招攬生源,但實際上這些學校良莠不齊,其課程更可能完全不符合移民政策的要求,因此 SPP計劃中的公立學院是好得多的選擇,它們提供多種多樣的文憑或證書課程,比大學更注重職業性和實際操作,兼有帶薪實習課程(Co-op),有利於就 業。她認為,這對於有意移民的普通人,SPP計劃可能是個比技術移民或投資移民更可行的選擇。

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