Immigration Dept to Clamp Down on Student Visa Misuse
The federal government plans on tightening rules for those on student visas to reduce inappropriate use of the visas to work in Canada.
The new rules will seek to prevent the practice of gaining entrance into Canada on a student visa, but instead of attending school, using the time in Canada to work.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says that while Australia and the UK have instituted rules to ensure that organizations that claim to be educational institutions are what they claim to be, and that foreign nationals on student visas are attending classes, Canada has no such safeguards in place.
Kenney said the Immigration Department is proposing that provinces create lists of “credible post-secondary institutions”, and that only student visa applicants that enrol in a listed school be accepted. The proposal further calls for monitoring of foreign nationals on student visas to verify they are attending classes.
The proposal would also eliminate student visas for education programs that are less than six months in length, and would restrict work permits for those on student visas to work relevant to their courses, like co-ops.
The proposed restriction on work permits would eliminate one of the competitive advantages that a report by a government advisory panel says Canada has over its main competitors in attracting international students.