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Canada implements stricter rules for international students, may ‘limit visas’. Here’s why

Canada announced an increase in the financial requirement for international students applying for study permits, and further warned the provinces and educational institutions that it will “significantly limit visas” in case appropriate actions are not taken before the upcoming fall term.

The government has also extended the temporary lift on the 20-hour work limit for international students. The students are now eligible to work for more than 20 hours a week off-campus until April 30, 2024.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller said during a press conference that certain educational institutions are operating as “puppy mills” and emphasised the need to address fraud and abuse within the system.

He said, “There are, in provinces, the diploma equivalent of puppy mills that are just churning out diplomas, and this is not a legitimate student experience.”

The minister emphasised the government’s commitment to protecting international students from potential vulnerabilities and exploitation.

However, he made it clear that if provinces fail to act, the federal government is prepared to intervene. “Enough is enough. If provinces and territories cannot do this, we will do it for them, and they will not like the bluntness of the instruments that we use,” he stated.

Financial requirements raised

The financial requirement for prospective students will be raised to $20,635, double the longstanding USD10,000 threshold. This change aims to ensure students can cover living costs, travel, and tuition expenses. The amount will be annually adjusted based on Statistics Canada benchmarks for living costs.

Miller highlighted the need for learning institutions to responsibly manage the number of international students they accept, considering their ability to provide housing or assistance in finding off-campus accommodation.

“We could potentially miss the mark. Provinces have several tools at their disposal, namely the regulation of the designated learning institutions, that in some cases just need to be shut down,” Miller noted.

The move is intended to address concerns about international students facing challenges in finding suitable housing and being forced into exploitative jobs, according to CBC.



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Published: 08 Dec 2023, 02:10 PM IST


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