New Rules for Student Visas in Canada from January 2014
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has just announced that in January 2014, the following changes will take effect for student visas (also known within Canada as “Study Permits”):
Those institutions that do wish to be designated as eligible to host international students will have to minimally comply with a set of common standards:
- All Study Permit holders will be required to be enrolled and actively pursuing a course or programme of study at a designated education institution after arrival in Canada, in order to maintain legal status;
- Provincial/territorial governments will designate institutions that are eligible to receive international students, and only students admitted to those institutions will be able to secure a Study Permit;
- Designated institutions will have to report to provinces/territories and CIC on international student enrolment and good standing status;
- Only those students attending designated education institutions will be granted access to Work Permit programmes;
- Work Permit programmes will also only be accessible by full-time students who are enrolled in and actively pursuing an academic, professional or vocational programme leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate;
- Full-time international students with valid Study Permits will be allowed to work off-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week without a Work Permit (that is, Off-Campus Work Permits would no longer be required for such students).
- Be recognised by the provincial/territorial government as being in good standing;
- Have adopted policies and put procedures in place that protect international students including a transparent tuition-fee refund policy made available to all incoming students;
- Have clear and well-communicated policies re: language proficiency and credential assessment and recognition for international students;
- Have sufficient administrative capacity to provide services that meet the unique needs of international students;
- Undertake promotional activities authorised by the province/territory and in line with the Education Canada brand;
- Publish a policy that outlines what it takes to be a student in good standing (and this must be consistent with provincial/territorial requirements);
- Maintain enrolment-reporting requirements and have a designated individual responsible for confirming the initial enrolment of a student with a Study Permit and reporting on the ongoing enrolment status of all international students with Study Permits at the institution.