Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement 2015 - Annex C

Annex C: International Students


1.0  Preamble

1.1  Canada and British Columbia, the Parties, agree that attracting and retaining international students is a priority for each. This Annex balances the dual goals of protecting the integrity of the International Student Program with ensuring British Columbia is a destination of choice for international students.

1.2  In addition to bilateral work, the Parties agree to continue working collaboratively with other provinces and territories towards the achievement of multilateral objectives related to international students and immigration.

2.0  Purpose

2.1  The purpose of this Annex is to facilitate co-operation between the Parties respecting International Student Program matters, including the exploration of issues that may affect the entry of international students to regions across British Columbia and their transition to post-graduation employment or permanent residency, or both.

3.0  Guiding Principles

3.1  In implementing this Annex and any initiatives developed under it, the Parties shall respect the following guiding principles:

3.1.1  Recognizing that international students bring significant educational, economic and cultural benefits to the Parties, and that they are an important contributor to the global flow of people and ideas.

3.1.2  Improving British Columbia’s attractiveness as a destination for international students to study, work and immigrate, while enhancing the province’s reputation for providing high quality educational opportunities for students.

3.1.3  Realizing British Columbia’s long-term economic development objectives through the recognition of international students as one potential source of skilled labour for the province.

3.1.4  Co-operating in the development and implementation of initiatives under this Annex that support the shared goals of the Parties, particularly with respect to facilitating study, work and immigration for international students in regions across British Columbia.

3.1.5  Continuing to maintain the integrity of Canada’s International Student Program through monitoring, reporting and evaluating specific initiatives developed under this Annex.

3.1.6  Ensuring consultations occur as appropriate among British Columbia, Canada and educational institutions to facilitate the sharing of information and improvement of the International Student Program, while accounting for special challenges and issues institutions may face.

3.1.7  Working together to support the dissemination of information about both existing and new initiatives that improve services to international students and educational institutions, and maximizing the use of these services.

3.1.8  Ensuring mechanisms are in place for effective information exchange that are in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and policies, as required by given initiatives established under this Annex.

4.0  Initiatives

4.1  Potential joint efforts between the Parties to achieve the purpose of this Annex must balance the integrity of the International Student Program and maintain the high quality of education provided in British Columbia. The following initiatives may be considered:

  1. assessing current challenges affecting the attraction of international students to the province;
  2. assessing current challenges affecting the transition and retention of international students in the province, including for post-graduation work and permanent residence; and
  3. developing and implementing initiatives that may enhance the effectiveness of the International Student Program, and strengthen the province’s ability to address labour market needs and immigration priorities through the attraction, entry and retention of international students.

5.0  Governance

5.1  In accordance with section 10.1.1 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, the Agreement Management Committee (AMC) will determine the appropriate mandate, structure, and reporting requirements for the implementation of this Annex. In the absence of specific direction to the contrary, Focal Points from each of the Parties will report to the AMC on an annual basis.

5.2  The Focal Points for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:

  1. for Canada: the Director General, Immigration Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and
  2. for British Columbia: the Executive Director, Strategic Policy and Planning Branch, Ministry of Advanced Education; and the Executive Director, Policy and Stakeholder Relations Branch, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.

5.3  The purpose and potential initiatives agreed to in this Annex require a multilateral approach, which will consist of members from the Government of British Columbia drawn from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and from British Columbia post-secondary institutions, as required and where appropriate. These members will each consult with other ministries or departments where applicable to specific initiatives established under this Annex.

5.4  Once this Annex is in force, the Parties will submit plans for working arrangements and strategies to the AMC, as required. Updates to such plans shall be permitted during the period this Agreement is in force, as required, pursuant to approval of the AMC.

6.0  Dispute Management and Resolution

6.1  In the case of a Dispute under this Annex, the Parties agree to follow the Dispute Management and Resolution Procedures outlined in section 10.3 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

7.0  Information Sharing

7.1  All information sharing between the Parties shall be in accordance with section 10.4 of the General Provisions of this Agreement and Annex D of this Agreement.

8.0  Program Accountability and Evaluation

8.1  The Parties agree to cooperate for the purposes of evaluation and agree to share reports of their respective evaluations with each other.

8.2  The Parties agree to undertake a joint review of International Student Program initiatives or pilot initiatives under this Annex, as appropriate. Process and review timelines will be established by the AMC, as required, referenced in section 5.1 of this Annex.

9.0  Duration and Amendments

9.1  In accordance with sections 10.7.2 and 10.7.12 of the General Provisions of the Agreement, this Annex will be valid for five (5) years from the date of this Agreement coming into force.

9.2  The Parties agree to review the effectiveness of this Annex no later than twelve (12) months prior to its expiry.

9.3  Upon the mutual written consent of both Parties, the term of this Annex can be extended at any time prior to its expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council.

9.4  Amendments to this Annex will be made in accordance with section 10.7.5 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

9.5  Either Party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least twelve (12) months notice in writing to the other Party.

9.6  Unless expressly terminated, all provisions of this Annex and any amendments to it will continue to operate and be effective, notwithstanding any termination of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

9.7  Start dates and the duration of any pilot initiatives developed and implemented under this Annex will be determined jointly by the Parties.

9.8  The specific terms and any pilot initiatives developed and implemented under this Annex will be negotiated through separate agreements between the Parties.

10.0  Notices

10.1  The Focal Points referenced in section 5.2 of this Annex undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Annex.

10.2  In addition to those identified in section 11.1 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, and the Focal Points noted in section 5.2 of this Annex, any notice to be delivered under this Annex should also be sent to:

Deputy Minister
Ministry of Advanced Education
PO Box 9884
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9T6

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