December 28, 2012 – Changes to the International Student Progam have been announced, some of which are aimed at preventing fraud.
Under the proposed changes, schools would have to be designated by a provincial or territorial ministry of education in order to admit international students for programs longer than six months. Six-month programs do not require a study permit, as long as the foreign student has valid visitor status.
Additionally, a designated institution’s international student population would no longer have to apply for an off-campus work permit. Rather, international students could work off-campus on a part-time basis without the need for a work permit. Currently, international students may apply for an off-campus work permit six months into the first year of their program, and by keeping satisfactory academic standing while they work.
International students will also have to prove that they are actively enrolled and pursuing studies while in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada reports that, currently, students only need to prove an intention to study, but might not follow through with the program for which they applied once in Canada on a study permit. The changes would introduce a way of tracking this and require students to study after their arrival. Students who do not comply with the conditions on their study permits may have removal orders issued against them.
Temporary residents at the preschool, primary or secondary level, or a course or program that is a prerequisite for acceptance at one of the designated institutions mentioned above, may apply for a study permit from within Canada.
Protected persons, refugee claimants and certain family members may be exempted from these proposed conditions on study permits.
– Written by Richard McKergow, a Paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and guest author on this site.