On October 27th, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced changes to its International Student Program aimed at strengthening the program and protecting students from fraud.
Enhancing Verification of Acceptance Letters
Under the new measures, Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) will need to confirm every applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with IRCC to ensure that study permits are issued only based on genuine acceptance letters.
A “Recognized Institution” Framework by 2024
By the 2024 fall semester, IRCC plans to implement a “recognized institution” framework that will provide several benefits to DLIs, including priority processing of study permit applications.
Reviewing Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Criteria
IRCC will assess the PGWP criteria and introduce reforms in the coming months to better align it with the country’s labor market needs, as well as regional and Francophone immigration goals. This marks the first review of the program in a decade.
Understanding the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
The PGWP is a work permit that international students can apply for after completing an eligible Canadian post-secondary program. It allows them to work for any employer in Canada and is valid for up to three years, depending on the duration of their educational program.
The Importance of PGWP for Canadian Immigration
A significant benefit of the PGWP is that it enables international students to gain professional work experience in Canada, which is often a prerequisite for applying for Canadian permanent residency through various immigration pathways.
Eligibility Criteria for PGWP
To qualify for a PGWP, international students must meet certain criteria, including completing a program of at least eight months at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI), holding full-time student status, and receiving confirmation of program completion from the DLI. There are exceptions for students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Growth of the PGWP
Statistics from 2022 indicate that the number of PGWP holders in Canada has been steadily increasing. The PGWP has become more popular because it allows international students to work in Canada and offers better earnings. China and India have been major sources of PGWP holders, and the program has contributed significantly to Canada’s international graduate population and permanent residency numbers.
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