Canada's Immigration department has released several measures that will strengthen Canada’s International Student Program and protect students from fraud amid cases of fraudulent admissions, mainly from India, involving fake documents.
Immigration minister Marc Miller said that starting December 1, 2023, colleges will be required to confirm every applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
He added that by the fall 2024 semester, a 'recognized institution' framework will be adopted. These recognized institutions will have privileges like priority processing of study permits for applicants who plan to attend their school.
IRCC will complete an assessment of Post-Graduation Work Permit Program criteria and begin introducing reforms.
"We will continue to improve Canada’s International Student Program by protecting students and weeding out those who try to take advantage of them. Whether an international student stays and works after graduation or returns home, we want their time as a student in Canada to have been beneficial to their growth and aspirations," Marc Miller said.
Here's what Study Abroad consultants had to say about this:
"These measures will help curb student visa fraud. The UK has been following a similar process for many years and the chances of students getting fraudulent visa letters is now very low," said Karan Gupta, founder of study abroad career consultancy Karan Gupta Consulting.
Rukmaa Prabhu, Founder of SGEC Study Abroad also said, "Stricter admissions and visa processes will make it more difficult for agents to submit fraudulent applications. This will also increase the confidence students and their parents have in the entire admission process and in Canada as a whole."
On the other hand...
Luke Dias, a student from the Ontario Island University said, "Prioritising universities would be a very long process for those looking to be accepted into one’s lower down the order. The system would see loads of visas left on standby for months which would mean the application process has to start well before students’ final exams. " He added that he thinks now students will have to choose universities from the recognised institution list.
However, Harshit Jaiswal, a student from Conestoga University, said, "Every Indian student or people on a work permit here are happy with the decision of new verification processes for students to come to Canada." He also said that Canada was flooded with immigrants right now and this decision will help reduce the number of international students and stabilize employment and the economy.
In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India’s government of possible involvement in the assassination of a Sikh separatist in British Columbia. India's denial of the allegation and subsequent fallout has caused tensions between the two countries.
With escalating tensions in October, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their families from India after New Delhi threatened to revoke their diplomatic immunity.