international-students Archives - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

HomeTaginternational-students Archives - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

On October 7, 2022 the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser, announced that international students will soon be able to work off-campus for an unlimited number of hours. Previously, international students were capped at working only up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. The Minister’s new policy will take effect from November 15, 2022 until December 31, 2023 and it is expected to apply to about 500,000 international students in Canada. While this policy is intended to benefit the Canadian economy during this period of economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the policy is unlikely to benefit international students for two main reasons that I discuss below.

Canada’s international student program has long been a cornerstone of our immigration strategy to address Canada’s long-term labour shortages. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it much more difficult for recent graduates to make the transition from being temporary residents to becoming Canadian permanent residents, and many of them feel that they are being left behind in a rapidly changing immigration environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many unique immigration challenges over the past 14 months. From processing delays to travel restrictions, immigration norms have been completely upended. One thing that has remained constant throughout the pandemic, however, is that interest in immigrating to Canada remains strong. With so much uncertainty around the future of Canada’s immigration programs, many clients are turning to reliable immigration pathways like Canada’s international student program to achieve their immigration goals.

On April 14, 2021, Minister Mendicino introduced the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway (“TR to PR”) class providing a marvelous opportunity for health care workers, designated essential workers and international students currently within Canada to apply for permanent residence. The threshold for success is much lower than the requirements under Express Entry and a total of 90,000 applicants were tagged for this new program with maximum targets of 20,000 for health care workers, 30,000 for essential workers and 40,000 for international students.

The Canadian Government is committed to supporting international students through the challenges of the Coronavirus (“Covid-19”) pandemic. On January 8, 2021, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”), the Honourable Marco Mendicino, announced a temporary policy to help former international students remain in Canada to live, work, and continue to integrate into Canadian society.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced many new policy changes designed to help mitigate the disruptions that have affected the normal processing of immigration applications. However, not enough is being done to help workers and students who are waiting to come to Canada or who are already in Canada and need to complete the biometrics enrolment process to obtain new study and work permits.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced on April 22, 2020 that, effectively immediately, international post-secondary students who are providing essential services will be authorized to work full-time while attending school. This rule change will be in effect until August 31, 2020 and will allow international students to help contribute to the nation’s COVID-19 response in areas of critical need such as health care and ensure that Canadians will continue to have access to critical goods and services during this difficult time.

For many years Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced new programs and policies to attract international students to complete post-secondary studies in Canada. The result has been a dramatic increase in the number of international students living in Canada who are making significant contributions to the economy.

Having just returned from a trip to India where I met with aspiring international students from across the country, I feel it imperative to share an observation: not all current and prospective international students are destined to become permanent residents of Canada. I share this important conclusion so that international students to Canada can assess their circumstances and determine the best means to achieve their objectives.

Canada’s international student population continues to increase given that a Canadian education is one of the best ways to obtain that essential Canadian work experience to be able to qualify for PR in the future. But studying in Canada is not a guarantee that you will be able to remain permanently in Canada. Before commencing your studies in Canada, be sure that you fully understand all the steps in the process for studying, working and being able to qualify for permanent residence.

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