Today, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is announcing steps to strengthen the International Student Program of Canada.
As per the official media availability, Marc Miller is announcing plans to implement several steps to strengthen Canada’s Foreign Students Program and protect genuine students from fraud.
The announcement has concluded and can be watched below:
Commencing on December 1, 2023, designated learning institutions (DLI) at the postsecondary level will be obligated to verify the acceptance letters of each applicant through the IRCC.
The main goal of this new and better verification process is to protect potential students from letter-of-acceptance fraud and help them avoid similar problems that some students had earlier this year when fraud inquiries were made.
Additionally, it will guarantee that the issuance of study permits is restricted to authentic letters of acceptance.
IRCC will set up a “recognized institution” framework for the fall 2024 school year.
This will help postsecondary DLIs by creating a higher standard for services, support, and outcomes for international students.
For instance, the priority processing of study permits for applicants who intend to attend their institution will be advantageous to these DLIs.
IRCC will commence the implementation of reforms to better align the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program with regional and Francophone immigration objectives, as well as the demands of the Canadian labour market, in the coming months, following the completion of an evaluation of the program’s criteria.
IRCC and CBSA initially identified 1,550 study permit applications linked with fraudulent letters. Most of these cases were refused.
However, for 450 of these applications, fraud wasn’t identified and study permits were issued.
The Immigration and Refugee Board has completed its proceedings in approximately 450 cases.
Out of these, there were 285 students of interest to the IRCC task force and as of mid-October, the IRCC task force has reviewed these cases and determined that 63 were genuine students. In 40 of these cases, these individuals were found not to be genuine students.
For those students found to be genuine students, 30 were issued temporary resident visas.
Most of the remaining cases are still before the IRB and the task force will intervene where appropriate.
Official Media Advisory
What could this announcement be?
There is a possibility that the IRCC minister may announce the plan to implement a two-tier model for study permits with the introduction of the Trusted Institutions Framework, on which the IRCC has been working since the beginning of 2023.
The Canadian Immigration Department has developed an index that could be used to determine which DLIs would be eligible for the Trusted Institutions Framework that can get “lighter-touch” expedited processing.
This framework was expected to test the survey with a small number of DLIs in summer 2023 followed by sharing refined survey with DLIs.
Furthermore, this framework was anticipated to be implemented for Trusted institutions with expedited processing for 2024 intakes.
So there is a possibility that Immigration Minister could be announcing this framework tomorrow.
Please note that this is not confirmed and is only based on our (INC News) expectations. Exact announcement will be out tomorrow by 10:45 am EST.
Check back later for more updates.
IRCC International Student Program Forecast
International Student Program (ISP) is of outmost importance to Canada contributing over 4.8 billion dollars annually.
With recent highlighting of exploitation of ‘vicitim international students’ due to use of fraudulent documents by their agents as well as students facing hardship by malpractice of Canadian colleges, the need to srengthen International Student Program is imminent.
Number of study permit applications is growing significantly with Canadian immigration department forecasting the yearly number to surpass 1.4 million by 2027.
Processing timeframes and service standards have been impacted by the rapid intake increase.
Many DLIs rely on international students for tuition money, which may not give them a good education in Canada.
Processing times are said to be affecting Canada’s ability to attract top international students, and international student exploitation may damage Canada’s reputation as a destination.
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