IRCC has announced important changes to the study permit processing, in effect as of December 1st:

– Starting December 1, 2023, post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLI) will be required to confirm every applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with IRCC. This new, enhanced verification process aims to protect prospective students from letter‑of‑acceptance fraud and to help them avoid similar problems that some students faced earlier this year as a result of fraud investigations. It will also ensure that study permits are issued based only on genuine letters of acceptance.

– In time for the fall 2024 semester, IRCC will adopt a “recognized institution” framework to benefit post-secondary DLIs that set a higher standard for services, support and outcomes for international students. These DLIs will benefit, for example, from the priority processing of study permits for applicants who plan to attend their school.

– In the coming months, IRCC will complete an assessment of Post-Graduation Work Permit Program criteria and begin introducing reforms to better calibrate it to meet the needs of the Canadian labour market, as well as regional and Francophone immigration goals.

It will be interesting to unpack what IRCC means by the reforms for the all-important Post Graduate Work Permit, which is the main vehicle foreign students use to qualify for Canadian immigration under the Canadian Experience Class. Stay tuned…

As for the changes in requiring confirmation from schools on acceptance letters and favouring educational institutions with strong performance records, I applaud these changes, which will help to minimize fraud and improve foreign student outcomes in Canada.


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