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,