Canada Introduces New Visa Regulations for International Students

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Bringing a major change, Canada has revised its International Student program (ISP). The new regulation will come into force on June 1, 2014.

As per the announcement of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), students enrolled at a designated institution in Canada are only eligible to apply for a study permit. Those institutes who are desirous of hosting international students are required to obtain Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation by December 2015. Selection of institutes for designation will be done by each province or territory in Canada.

Students having study permits will automatically be eligible to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic session.

However, in the course of the scheduled school break, study permit holders can work full-time without applying for a separate work permit. It is also mandatory that the students availing study permit must be pursuing academic, vocational or professional training for six months or more leading to a degree, diploma or certificate at the designated institution.

The Canadian government intends to provide relaxation for the students having study permit and enrolled in the non-designated institution to complete their study within three years from the date the new regulations gets activated.

The study permit provided by the Canadian Government becomes invalid 90 days after the completion of course. If students possess a valid work permit, then they can remain in Canada beyond their study permit. Students can also opt for a Co-op work permit if it is part of their course study.

It is also important to note that the registered Indians who are also foreign nationals can study in the Canada without a study permit as they happen to have a right of entry into Canada.

The new regulation allows visitors to be automatically considered for multiple-entry visa. This visa system triggers benefits for the visa holders to come and go from Canada for six months at a time for up to 10 years. It also stipulates that visitors will not be eligible to apply for a study permit from within Canada.

The Canadian Government is optimistic about this new regulation. Its regulatory statement notes, “In conjunction with current non-regulatory measures, regulatory amendments will enhance the integrity of Canada’s [International Student Program] by reducing fraud and ensuring Canada remains a destination of choice for international students seeking a quality education.” The impact statement also notes that Canada is poised to become an attractive study destination with the new improved facilities and quality institutes being market ready. Talking about increasing the number of permits, the regulatory statement confirms that there will be an increase in approval rates.

Canada has increased $25 for study permits and renewals and $5, for work permits and renewals.

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