Canada Implements Stricter Policies For International Students, Sparking Concerns And Confusion

Canada Implements Stricter Policies For International Students, Sparking Concerns And Confusion

Canada implements new reforms for international students, including authenticity checks for acceptance letters and increased financial requirements. Political tensions and reduced study permits also impact student applications.

Lavanya AhireUpdated: Monday, January 08, 2024, 10:05 AM IST
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After a tumultuous relationship with its international student policy, the Immigration Ministry of Canada has finally implemented a host of reforms for international students starting January 1, 2024. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has started checking the authenticity of every letter of acceptance submitted by students for their visa application.

Nearly 700 Indian Student On Verge Of Deportation

This step was taken to ensure that students do not fall victim to those who issue fake letters of acceptance to students. In 2022, nearly 700 students from India were on the verge of deportation due to forged Letters issued by a fraudulent consultant.

Along with this, students applying to colleges after January 1, have to show that they can procure funding of at least C$20,635. Earlier the financial requirement was C$10,000. The immigration department has also said that this threshold will be reevaluated yearly on the basis of the cost-of-living.

“Following this update, I am still confused. What about students who have family who already live in Canada?” Anmol Gariwal, an applicant to McGill University and York University said. Anmol, already has her family in Canada will not have to spend on rent and food. Canada has not made its stance on this issue clear.

Canada Withdrawed 41 Diplomats From India

Political tensions between Canada and India have heightened since Canada accused Indian intelligence of the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which India denied. Since then, Canada has withdrawn 41 diplomats from India.

Canada saw a sharp drop in study permits meted out by the government after the diplomatic row and the hiked financial requirements. Recent data indicated a 40% drop in student applications since July of this year.

“Some of my friends dropped Canada plans because of the increase in the GIC amount,” Muhammed Ameer Khan who is applying to Trinity Western University said. 

Indian Students In Canada Express Concern

Students already in Canada earlier told FPJ that the increase in financial requirements would reduce the number of applicants and help ease the tight and competitive job market. The increase would also help facilitate the expensive cost-of-living that students face. “The $20,635 financial requirement does obscure the prospect of Canada being an affordable destination,” Luke Dias, a student at Vancouver Island University said.

Anmol added that although the doubling of the financial requirements is not a problem for her, the cost of living financial requirements will reduce the amount of people planning to go to Canada as international students.

Muhammed said that the decision to apply for Canada after the revised financial requirements was a tough one. “I am from a healthcare background so my fee is high and on top of that, the increased GIC amount made me think twice about making the decision. It is difficult to get a loan as well, the interest is so high,” he added. 

Although Canada currently allows students to work 20 hours a week and is considering extending the allowance to 30 hours, students in Canada have commented on the lack of part-time jobs. “Students barely get 10 to 15 hours a week,” Chirag Shetty, a student in Fleming college said. 

Students in the country have been worried about the increased financial requirements of the governments, with many opting out of choosing Canada as a study destination. Coupled with the stringent immigration policies and a tight job market, Canada may lose its status as a haven for international students that it once was.

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