Canada’s Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working to make sure the international student program in the country stays strong and reliable. They have introduced new measures to achieve this goal.
Now, Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), which are the only schools authorized to accept international students in Canada, have access to an online portal. This portal allows them to check the letters of acceptance (LOAs) submitted by international students for their visa applications.
Under the new system, DLIs need to verify the letters of acceptance (LOAs) through this portal within 10 calendar days. If they don’t do it in time or find out that the letter is fake, the student’s visa application will be canceled. Any fees paid by the student for processing will be returned.
After the 10-day deadline, DLIs can no longer check the letters of acceptance (LOAs).
These changes come after incidents of fraud in Canada’s international student program. Last year, 700 Indian students almost faced deportation because they were tricked into coming to Canada with fake acceptance letters.
More details about the verification process can be found on the government’s website.
IRCC is also proposing a new system for DLIs called the “Trusted Institutions Framework.” This system will include a two-tiered process for issuing study permits, which was mentioned earlier.
In this framework, trusted institutions will enjoy certain benefits, such as faster processing of study permits. Although the specifics of how this framework will work are not clear yet, it is expected to start in the fall of 2024.
IRCC emphasizes the importance of protecting the integrity of the international student program and may even consider limiting the number of student visas to ensure DLIs can support international students effectively.
Other Changes For International Students in 2024
The year 2024 will bring more changes to Canada’s international student program. IRCC plans to:
- Increase in Cost-of-Living Requirement: Students will face an additional $10,000 CAD in the cost-of-living requirement.
- Reconsideration of Work Cap: The 20-hour work cap for international students is under review.
- End of Facilitative Measure: The measure allowing international students to count time spent abroad towards their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is set to end.
- New PGWP Program Changes: IRCC is introducing new alterations to the PGWP program.
The department also aims to connect international student enrollment and PGWP issuance more directly with labor market and demographic needs. With nearly one million international students expected in Canada in the coming year, 2024 is anticipated to be a year of significant changes.