Federal Government must update International Student Program, says Mathew Jeffery

Federal Government must update International Student Program, says Mathew Jeffery

Though the federal government is right in its new strategy to attract international students to Canadian learning institutions, there’s an urgent need to make fundamental changes to the study-permit evaluation process for the new program to be successful. Mathew Jeffery, a Toronto immigration lawyer, agrees that international students are the ideal candidates for citizenship. However, he raises a genuine concern regarding the federal government’s pre-screening test that attempts to weed out individuals who intend to stay in the country after they graduate.

According to Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations’ S.216, 1B, the Canadian visa authorities can only issue a study permit to a foreign national if, after an examination, it’s established that he or she will leave the country by the end of the time authorized for their stay. Jeffery firmly believes that there are programs in place to encourage students to remain in Canada, get a post-graduate work permit, and probably apply for permanent residence in the country through the skilled worker category or Canadian Experience Class. Unfortunately, numerous people who apply to study in Canada are denied entry due to this clause.

Sure, the clause is an integral part of the immigration law, but such regulations were drawn before the creation of Canadian Experience Class program. There were no post-graduate work permits issued and the overall concept of international student revolved around an individual who would enter Canada to study, and leave after graduation.

However, over the last few decades, the importance of allowing international students to transition to permanent residence in the country has been recognized. Jeffery explains that the time is now for the federal government to revise the international students’ program and eliminate this contradictory clause in the screening process. That way, studies from the various cultures such as India, China, and others who value education and are encouraged to continue schooling as far as possible, can always find Canada as a great place to study and pursue their careers.

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