Permanent Residence By No Means Guaranteed For Canada International Students 

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Education and immigration consultants are misleading international students into believing that studying at Canadian post-secondary institutions is a guaranteed route to becoming a permanent resident, senators and immigration experts are warning.

Ratna Omidvar, Hassan Yussuf, Sabi Marwah and Yuen Pau Woo released a report about the federal international student program, warning that there are not enough permanent residence (PR) spots to cater to the rising number of international students coming to Canada.

The report – titled “Strengthening the Integrity of Canada’s International Student Program” – went on to advise Ottawa of ensuring that the PR process remains competitive so as to filter through only the best international students.

It also asked the Government of Canada to stop education consultants (who they fund to recruit foreign students) from overselling the ease of getting the Canada work permit after graduation.

Sometimes, international students are denied permits as their colleges are not designated learning institutions (or DLIs).

This is because they were not properly advised about the consequences of attending a non-DLI in the first place, which caused them to come to Canada in the hopes of securing a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

Other times, they are led to the country on fake letters of acceptance (LOAs) or enrolled in programs not eligible for a PGWP.

“Programs offered by public institutions must meet certain requirements for international students to be eligible for a PGWP, while programs solely offered by private institutions are ineligible for PGWPs altogether,” wrote the report.

“International students who rely on agents are often not aware of such intricacies and discover the bad news when it is too late.”

As per The Globe and Mail, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said that international students are assets for Canada’s future, but there needs to be a crackdown on immigration consultants who give them false hope about coming to the country.

The report blames not just consultants, however, but also the federal government for “perpetuating an inflated sense of hope” among international students.

It reads that “while the Canadian government is being honest in highlighting the immigration advantages of studying in Canada, it can perhaps do more to be forthright about the highly competitive nature of the permanent residence application process.”

As per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) projections, the number of foreign students applying to come to Canada each year will go up to 1.4 million by 2027, as per an internal policy document.

In 2023, 900,000 students will study in Canada.

A 2021 survey of students for the Canadian Bureau for International Education found that 73 percent of respondents planned to apply for postgraduation work permits, and 59 planned to go for permanent residence.

However, the Senators’ report highlights that not every international student will be able to realize their dream of staying in Canada after graduation; while there is a cap on the number of permanent residents being admitted to the country each year, no such cap exists on the number of temporary residents – including workers and students – being admitted.

One of the Senators – Omidvar – said in an interview that it becomes federal responsibility to directly communicate with foreign students about the conditions for working and staying in Canada, to counter “misinformation” from education consultants.

“It is the federal government’s responsibility to communicate with the students. When the visa is issued it should be accompanied by a letter,” she said.

Source : Immigration