On February 12, 2014, the Government of Canada stated that it had made regulatory amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (“IRPR”) which will take affect on June 1, 2014. The changes will alter Canada’s international student landscape.
The new rules are being introduced because the Government of Canada has been concerned that some educational institutions have been taking advantage of international students. (One of my biggest annoyances is meeting with international students who state that their private post-secondary schools misled them into thinking that they would be eligible for post-graduate work permits.) The government has even suspected some educational institutes are little more than “visa mills” whose primary purpose is to get students work permits. As well, there has been an increasing tendency of internationals students using study permits as a means to enter Canada for purposes other than study, including employment, and, allegedly, criminal purposes. Canada’s reputable post-secondary institutions, which have to compete for the best and brightest international students, have been unamused with how some of the unscrupulous behaviour has impacted their ability to market.
The changes are:
New regulations, as of 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 actively pursue their course of studies in Canada. The failure of a study permit holder to do so could lead to removal from Canada. The Government of Canada has amended IRPR s. 228 so that inadmissibility reports based on international students not actively pursuing studies in Canada do not require a referral to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Instead, an officer can directly issue an Exclusion Order. There are several exceptions to this removal possibility, including study permit holders who possess study permits because they are the family members of foreign workers, » Read more about: Study Permit Regulations to be Overhauled June 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,
In a much anticipated change, the Federal Government has announced a series of changes to the Federal Immigrant Investor Program (“FIIP“) in the Gazette. Changes to the Quebec Investor Program are expected shortly.
The Government of Canada is proposing that amendments be made to the definition of “investor” and “investment” in section 88 of the Regulations that would increase the investment amount from $400,000 to $800,000 and the personal net worth amount from $800,000 to $1.6M for Investor class applicants.
No FIIP applications will be accepted unless they are post-marked or received by the designated Citizenship and Immigration Canada office before June 26, 2010. This pause will extend until the coming into force of proposed regulatory amendments to the definitions of “Investor” and “Investment” applicable to Business Immigrants in Division 2 of Part 6 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
FIIP applications received on or after the coming into force of the proposed regulatory amendments shall be processed concurrently with those federal applications received prior to the administrative pause in a ratio consistent with operational requirements.
Why The Doubling?
The Government of Canada is first of all confident that this will not reduce the number of applicants. 80% of FIIP applicants in 2009 came from the Asia-Pacific Region, which continues to boom despite the global economic crisis.
According to the Gazette, the increase will result in a net economic benefit to Canada of $59,229 per investment. In total, this would result in a benefit of $600,000,000 per year to Canada.
While $600,000,000 isn’t bad (you could almost fund security for a G8 summit with that amount), it’s interesting to note that an increase of $400,000 per investment only results in a $60,000 benefit.Read more ›
In this first of several changes to Canadian immigration law today, the government has introduced a cap on the number of Federal Skilled Worker applications that will be considered for processing each year.
20,000 applications will be considered each year for people that do not have an offer of employment.
Within the 20,000 cap, a maximum of 1,000 Federal Skilled Worker applications per National Occupational Classification Code will be considered each year.
The NOC eligibility list is also changing. The number of occupations eligible for the federal skilled worker program has been reduced from 38 to 29. Removed occupations include mangers in finance, health care and construction, computer and information systems, university professors, and vocational instructors. Being added to the list are the following occupations: psychologists, social workers, dental hygienists, pharmacists, dentists, architects, biologists, insurance adjusters, claims examiners, primary industry production managers, and professions in business services and management.
In calculating the caps, applications will be considered on the date which they are received.
Requests made on the basis of Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds that accompany a Federal Skilled Worker application not identified for processing will not be processed.
The first year will begin on June 26, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011.
The Official Gazette detailing the new rules can be found here.Read more ›