New CIC rules improve services for international students
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will soon enforce new regulation for international students. The updated rules will help maintain the integrity of the Canada study permit program by ensuring study permits go to applicants intent on pursuing their studies in Canada.
The following changes will be effective as of June 1, 2014:
- Required enrolment and continuing attendance
Currently, applicants need only demonstrate their intention to study in Canada. The revised rules will require enrolment and continuing attendance at a Canadian educational institution. Those unable to comply will risk deportation.
- Restrictions on eligible educational institutions
Study permits will no longer apply to any school in the country, but only to those authorized to admit international students. Eligible schools will be designated by the provincial and territorial governments.
- Allowance for off-campus employment
International students will no longer require Off-Campus Work Permits. Study permits will allow up to 20 hours of off-campus work per week during the academic term, and full-time employment during breaks. Permit holders must be studying for a degree, diploma, or certificate in an academic, vocational, or professional training program of at least six months at an eligible institution designated by the relevant provincial or territorial government.
- Restriction on Co-Op Work Permits
Co-Op Work Permits will no longer be available to any international student whose program of study incorporates a co-op placement. The program of study must be at a secondary school or other institution designated by the provincial or territorial government.
- Study Permits for visitors
Visitors to Canada will be allowed to apply for a study permit within the country. Eligible visitors must fall under one of the following categories:
- pre-school, primary, or secondary level
- participant in an academic exchange
- visiting a designated educational institution
- completed a program of study required for admission to a designated institution
- Restriction on time remaining in Canada upon completion of studies
Study permit holders who have completed their program of study may no longer remain in the country until their permit expires. Study permits will become invalid 90 days after the student’s program is finished. To stay in the country legally, the student must have a valid work permit or other authorization.
- Authorization to work after completing program of study
After completing their program, study permit holders who have applied for Post-Graduation Work Permit will be able to hold full-time employment while awaiting a decision on their application.
- Recognition of Registered Indians’ right to enter the country
Registered Indians holding nationality outside Canada will be able to study in the country without a study permit, in observance of their right of entry into Canada.
As per current regulations, international students enrolled in programs or courses lasting six months or less will not require a study permit. Valid visitor visas will still be necessary for international students whose home countries require them to have one.
Study permit holders at non-designated institutions
International students holding a study permit at a non-designated institution prior to June 1, 2014 may take up to three years to complete their program of study after the new regulations become effective.
If a study permit holder at a non-designated institution has an Off-Campus Work Permit or Co-Op Work Permit, they may continue to use and renew their work permits before completing their studies, for up to three years after the new regulations become effective.
Closer to the start date of June 1, 2014, CIC will announce other measures to carry out the transition to the new regulations.
For questions relating to Canada study permits, contact a Canadian immigration lawyer at First Immigration Law Firm