This article covers Canada’s new immigration rules impacting international students, including the end of extra work permit extensions, increased living costs, more work hours for students, and options for those affected to stay legally in Canada.
- Canada will not extend extra 18-month work permits after December 31, 2023.
- International students now need more money to live in Canada.
- Students can marry a Canadian, seek asylum, or get a special work document to stay legally.
- Students can work more hours each week until April 30, 2024.
Today, I have some important news about Canada’s immigration rules. Rules are changing for people who come from other countries to study or work.
The government in Canada has made big changes. These are really important for students who have finished their studies and want to work there. The changes are getting a lot of attention.
They are especially important for students from Nigeria who go to Canada. They hope to work there after finishing their studies
Post-Graduate Work Permits
One of the major changes announced is the decision not to extend a temporary policy that previously granted an additional 18-month work permit to holders of post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) whose permits were about to expire.
This policy change will impact international students, including Nigerians, with PGWPs set to expire after December 31, 2023.
The Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller highlighted this change as part of three temporary policies being introduced.
Canadian-based student Uloma Beatrice, in a conversation with voiceofnigeria.org.ng, explained,
“Foreign nationals with a PGWP expiring up to December 31, 2023, remain eligible to apply. However, those with permits expiring from January 1, 2024, onwards are not covered by this extension, leaving them with limited time to plan their next steps.”
Financial Requirements for International Students
Another significant update is the doubling of the minimum cost of living financial requirement for international students.
It has been increased by 106.4% to $20,635, imposing a higher financial burden on prospective students.
Options for Affected Students
For Nigerians and other international students affected by these changes, several options are available to avoid becoming illegal immigrants.
These include marrying a Canadian Permanent Resident holder, seeking asylum, or obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) document from a Canadian employer.
The LMIA demonstrates the need for a foreign worker to fill a job that cannot be filled by Canadian workers or permanent residents.
Extended Work Hours for Students
On a positive note, the Canadian government has extended the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week work limit for international students.
This waiver allows students to work more than the previously restricted 20 hours per week during class sessions, effective until April 30, 2024.
This rule applies to students already in Canada or those who applied for a study permit by December 7, 2023. Applications submitted after this date will be subject to the standard 20-hour limit.
New Rules for Verifying Admission
Starting from December 1, 2023, international students, including Nigerians, will be required to verify their admission to safeguard against fraud.
This was announced on Canada’s immigration website by Minister Marc Miller, emphasizing the need to protect genuine students from fraudulent activities.
These policy changes by the Canadian government reflect an evolving approach to immigration and student work policies.
While the non-extension of post-graduate work permits poses challenges for some, the extended work hours offer relief and more flexibility for current students.
International students planning to study in Canada need to stay informed and prepared for these changes to navigate their educational and post-educational pathways effectively.