Canada, international student program, Post-Graduation Work Permit, work permit, study permit, visa, off-campus work, financial aid, program integrity, acceptance letter verification, recognized institutions, PGWP criteria, labor market, immigration
Canada has long been a popular destination for international students, attracted by its world-class universities, strong economy, and welcoming multicultural society. In recent years, the Canadian government has made a number of changes to its international student program in order to make it even more attractive to students from around the world.
One of the most significant changes is the introduction of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. The PGWP allows international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada to stay in the country for up to 18 months to work after they graduate. This gives students valuable Canadian work experience, which can help them to land a job after they return home.
In addition to the PGWP, the Canadian government has also made a number of other changes to its international student program, including:
- Reducing the processing time for study permits
- Making it easier for students to obtain a visa
- Allowing students to work off campus while they are studying
- Providing more financial aid to international students
These changes have made Canada an even more attractive destination for international students. In 2019, there were over 572,000 international students studying in Canada, making up 20% of all post-secondary students in the country.
Canada’s Renewed International Student Program
- Objective: Canada is recognized for its high-quality educational institutions, welcoming and diverse society, and opportunities for work or immigration after graduation. The International Student Program has faced challenges in ensuring integrity and protecting students from fraud. (Source)
- New Measures (Effective December 1, 2023):
- Verification Process: Designated learning institutions (DLI) will need to confirm each applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This aims to protect students from letter-of-acceptance fraud. (Source)
- “Recognized Institution” Framework: For the fall 2024 semester, a framework will be adopted for DLIs that offer superior services and support for international students. These DLIs will benefit from priority processing of study permits. (Source)
- Post-Graduation Work Permit Program Assessment: IRCC will assess and introduce reforms to better align the program with the Canadian labor market and immigration goals. (Source)
PGWP Criteria Upgrade
In order to ensure that the PGWP program is fair and effective, the Canadian government has recently made a number of changes to the eligibility criteria. The most significant change is that students must now complete at least 50% of their studies in Canada in order to be eligible for a PGWP. This change is designed to ensure that students are gaining valuable Canadian experience while they are studying.
Other changes to the PGWP eligibility criteria include:
- Students must now be enrolled in a program that is at least eight months long
- Students must be a full-time student throughout their program
- Students must graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI)
These changes are designed to ensure that the PGWP program is being used by students who are genuinely interested in studying and working in Canada.
Impact of the Changes
The changes to the PGWP eligibility criteria are expected to have a significant impact on international students in Canada. Some students may be discouraged from applying to study in Canada if they are not eligible for a PGWP. However, the Canadian government believes that the changes are necessary to ensure the integrity of the PGWP program.
Despite the changes, Canada remains an attractive destination for international students. The country offers a world-class education, a strong economy, and a welcoming multicultural society. International students who are interested in studying in Canada should carefully review the eligibility criteria for the PGWP program before applying to study.
Overall, the changes to Canada’s international student program are designed to make it even more attractive to students from around the world. The PGWP program is a valuable benefit for international students, and the changes to the eligibility criteria are designed to ensure that the program is being used by students who are genuinely interested in studying and working in Canada.