A recent publication in the Canada Gazette outlines significant proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. These changes primarily focus on enhancing the oversight of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) and improving the overall integrity of the international student program in Canada. Please note these are only proposals and are not yet law.

Key Proposals

The proposal to amend the Regulations stems from Canada’s desire to tighten controls over international students. The aim is to increase surveillance and force approved educational institutions to offer better quality controls. We are in agreement with the proposed changes and feel they will benefit Canadian international students as well as serve as a way to weed out individuals coming to Canada who do not have genuine intentions.

Mandatory Reporting by DLIs

One of the cornerstone proposals is the requirement for DLIs to provide regular and mandatory reports on the enrollment status of international students. This move is aimed at ensuring that DLIs are actively monitoring the academic progress and attendance of their international students. By maintaining accurate and up-to-date records, the government can better track compliance with study permit conditions and identify any potential issues early.

Verification of Acceptance Letters

To combat fraud and ensure the legitimacy of international students’ applications, DLIs will be required to verify the authenticity of acceptance letters issued to prospective students. This step is intended to prevent the use of fraudulent documents and ensure that only genuine students are granted study permits. DLIs will need to implement robust verification processes and report any irregularities to immigration authorities.

Penalties for Non-compliance

The proposed amendments also introduce penalties for DLIs that fail to comply with the new reporting and verification requirements. Non-compliant institutions may face fines, suspension, or even removal from the list of DLIs. This measure is designed to enforce accountability and ensure that all institutions adhere to the highest standards of integrity and transparency.

Changes to Work Permit Regulations

Increased Work Hours for Students

In recognition of the financial challenges faced by international students, the amendments propose an increase in the allowable off-campus work hours from 20 to 24 hours per week. This change aims to provide students with greater flexibility to manage their living expenses while maintaining their academic commitments. The additional work hours are expected to alleviate some of the financial pressures and support the overall well-being of international students.

Implications for International Students and DLIs

These proposed amendments are expected to have a significant impact on both international students and DLIs. For students, the increased oversight and verification measures will provide greater assurance of the legitimacy of their educational institutions and protect them from potential fraud. The increase in allowable work hours will also offer more opportunities to support themselves financially during their studies.

For DLIs, the new requirements will necessitate the implementation of more stringent reporting and verification processes. Institutions will need to invest in systems and procedures to ensure compliance with the new regulations. While this may involve additional administrative work, it will ultimately contribute to a more transparent and accountable education system for international students in Canada.

Conclusion

The proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations represent a comprehensive effort to enhance the integrity and oversight of Canada’s international student program. By requiring DLIs to report on student enrollment, verify acceptance letters, and imposing penalties for non-compliance, the government aims to ensure that only genuine students are granted study permits and that DLIs uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability. The increase in allowable work hours for students further demonstrates a commitment to supporting the financial well-being of international students. These changes are poised to strengthen Canada’s reputation as a destination of choice for international education while safeguarding the interests of students and institutions alike.

For further details on these proposed amendments, you can read the full document on the Canada Gazette website.


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