Canada Plans Changes To Post-Study Work Permits For International Students

Canada Plans Changes To Post-Study Work Permits For International Students

Until now, international students have been able to benefit from the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program, which lets them work in Canada temporarily after graduating from a designated learning institution (DLI).

Siksha MUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 10:39 PM IST
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Marc Miller

Canada is considering changes to its post-study work rights for international students, which could have a big impact on those looking to build their careers in the country. Until now, international students have been able to benefit from the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program, which lets them work in Canada temporarily after graduating from a designated learning institution (DLI).

IRCC reports 214% increase in PGWP participation

According to Shiksha reports, an internal briefing document from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) revealed that PGWP participation increased by 214% in 2023 compared to 2018. This surge has prompted considerations for changes in the program. Immigration Minister Marc Miller recently stated, "Work is underway to re-align the program to better meet targeted labour market needs and immigration objectives." The proposed adjustments aim to prioritise work permits for students entering occupations with labour shortages, potentially restricting permits for graduates from programs with lower market relevance.

This realignment will be reviewed in spring 2024, with implementation set for January 2025. If stringent measures are applied, this could lead to a significant decline in the number of international students and PGWP holders in Canada.

Decline in international student enrollment

In a related development, Simon Fraser University (SFU) has announced layoffs, citing a decline in international student enrollment as a contributing factor. According to SFU’s statement to CBC News, the layoffs are part of broader cost-cutting measures necessitated by decreased revenue from international students and other financial pressures. The university is committed to supporting affected staff and ensuring a stable financial future while prioritising teaching, learning, and research.

Scott Yano, an instructor for SFU's ELC program, expressed disappointment over the layoffs. He noted, "[SFU] said it had something to do with the program not keeping up with current trends ... which is exactly the opposite of what we've heard from the interpretation community," as reported by Shiksha.

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