Canada-Quebec Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students

Electronic Version

Original signed November 21, 2005


BETWEEN

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA,
represented by the Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, hereinafter referred to as Citizenship and Immigration Canada,

AND

THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC,
represented by the Deputy Minister of the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles and by the Associate Secretary General of the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes, hereinafter referred to as Quebec.

Whereas Canada and Quebec have different responsibilities in terms of immigration, as defined by the Canada-Quebec Accord Relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens;

Whereas the parties recognize that providing international students with limited access to the Canadian labour market will enhance the global competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (R205 (c) (ii)), while giving international students in Quebec opportunities to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the societies of both Quebec and Canada;

Whereas Citizenship and Immigration Canada wants to implement an off-campus work permit program in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, on the basis of a nationally coherent model;

Whereas Quebec wants to increase access to its labour market for international students registered at publicly funded post secondary institutions;

Whereas the parties want to preserve the integrity of the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for international students;

Whereas Quebec will coordinate the implementation of this program in cooperation with its eligible institutions and with Citizenship and Immigration Canada;

Whereas, for Quebec, this memorandum of understanding (MOU) constitutes a Canadian intergovernmental agreement under subdivision 3.6.2 of the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil executif, R.S.Q. c. M 30;

Whereas, according to the first paragraph of subdivision 3.8 of that law, Canadian intergovernmental agreements must, to be valid, be approved by the government and be signed by the minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Francophones within Canada, the Agreement on Internal Trade, the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Access to Information.

The parties hereto state their intentions as follows:

1. Definitions

1.1 In this document, the terms below are defined as follows:

“Eligible institution” means any publicly funded post-secondary educational institution that is located in Quebec and listed in Annex 1 of this MOU.

“International student” means a foreign national who is authorized to study in Canada.

“MOU” means the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec.

“Participating institution” means any eligible institution that has signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Implementing the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students with Quebec, as per the form attached as Annex 2 of this MOU.

“Participating student” means an international student who is in possession of a work permit issued under this program.

“Program” means the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students, as prescribed by this MOU.

1.2 Except where otherwise provided for in this MOU, words used in this MOU that are defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations are to have the same meaning as set out in the Act and Regulations.

2. Purpose and objectives of the MOU

2.1 The purpose of this MOU is to set out the terms and conditions of an Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students and to set out the Government of Canada’s and the Government of Quebec’s respective responsibilities in this regard.

2.2 The first objective of the Program is to enable international students who meet specific criteria to obtain a permit for off-campus work, without the requirement for a Human Resource and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) labour market opinion.

2.3 The second objective of the Program is to provide participating students in Quebec with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the societies of Quebec and Canada, while preserving the integrity of the international student program.

3. Responsibilities of the parties

3.1 Citizenship and Immigration Canada hereby states its intention to be responsible for:

  1. setting general eligibility criteria for institutions and students wanting to participate in the Program;
  2. committing to consistent implementation of the Program throughout Canada;
  3. specifying the nature of the information required for implementing and monitoring the Program;
  4. providing advice and liaising with the provinces to assist in implementation;
  5. issuing work permits to eligible international students, according to the criteria in the Guide for Designated Institutional Representatives on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program and the guidelines in CIC’s Foreign Worker Manual and in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
  6. informing participating students of the applicable limits on their work permits;
  7. determining whether a participating student has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of their work permit, and deciding on appropriate action to be taken.

3.2 Quebec hereby states its intention to be responsible for:

  1. entering into, with each eligible institution wanting to participate in the Program, an MOU on implementing the Program outlining the terms and responsibilities involved in the Program, based on the model in Annex 2;
  2. providing Citizenship and Immigration Canada with a copy of each of the MOUs on implementing the Program that Quebec signs with its participating institutions;
  3. coordinating program implementation in cooperation with the participating institutions and Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  4. committing to consistent implementation of the Program throughout Quebec;
  5. facilitating the development, in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the institutions, of compatible and coordinated systems and processes for fulfilling the reporting requirements of this MOU, which are detailed in sections 3 and 4 of Annex 2 to this MOU;
  6. receiving and consolidating reports provided by all participating institutions with respect to participating students who have become ineligible, and sending those reports, including “nil” reports, to Citizenship and Immigration Canada once every year by December 1;
  7. appointing a staff member of the appropriate ministry as program coordinator for Quebec.

4. Eligibility criteria and applicable limits

4.1 Eligible institutions and participating institutions are defined in subsection 1.1 of this MOU. Any additions to the list of eligible institutions in Annex 1 may only be made with the prior approval in writing of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Quebec.

4.2 Students eligible for an off-campus work permit under this MOU are those international students who attend participating institutions and who:

  1. hold a valid study permit;
  2. are current full-time students and have studied full-time for at least 6 of the previous 12 months at an eligible or participating institution in a program that leads to a diploma other than English or French as a second language (ESL or FSL);
  3. since their application, have been, and continue to be, registered as full time students in a program, other than an ESL or FSL program, that leads to a diploma;
  4. have signed a consent form authorizing the exchange of personal information between the institution, the Government of Quebec and Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  5. are currently maintaining satisfactory academic standing in their program of study and have previously maintained satisfactory academic standing during at least 6 months of full-time study out of the previous 12 months and, as required, since their application for a work permit;
  6. continue to fulfil the terms and conditions of their study permit and work permit, as applicable; and;
  7. continue to meet the above eligibility requirements while participating in the Program.

4.3 International students who participate in an exchange program at a participating institution, as well as international students who are in receipt of an award from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program or the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or an award from the Canadian International Development Agency are not eligible to apply for a work permit under this program.

4.4 International students who are registered in programs that consist either exclusively or primarily of ESL or FSL instruction are not eligible to apply for a work permit under this program.

4.5 Work permits issued under this program are intended to have a validity not exceeding the duration of the study permit issued to the eligible student concerned, and will authorize students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during scheduled breaks. Both “academic year” and “scheduled breaks” are as defined by the applicable participating institution.

5. Designated contact offices

5.1 Each party will designate an office that will be responsible for ensuring the integrity of the MOU and serve as the main point of contact for any questions or concerns arising from the MOU.

5.2 The designated contact offices for the MOU are as follows:

  1. for Citizenship and Immigration Canada:
    Economic Immigration Policy and Programs Division
    Selection Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Jean Edmonds Tower North
    300 Slater Street, 7th Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
  2. for Quebec:
    Direction des politiques et programmes d’immigration familiale, sociale et humanitaire
    Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles

    360 McGill Street, 3rd Floor
    Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2E9

6. Advisory committee

Where, based on the views of both parties as set out by officials with their respective designated offices, as identified in subsection 5.2 of this MOU, an advisory committee responsible for overseeing program operation and ongoing evaluation does not already exist, Quebec undertakes to establish one. The frequency of meetings and the composition of the advisory committee will be at Quebec’s discretion but should include, as a minimum, one representative from each of the following: the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and each type of participating institution.

7. Evaluation

7.1 Following the completion of the second year of the Program, Quebec will conduct a formal evaluation of the implementation of the MOU, in accordance with standards jointly developed with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

7.2 Nothing in provision 7.1 is intended to limit either party’s ability to conduct other evaluations as they see fit.

8. Other

8.1 This MOU imposes no specific financial responsibilities on the parties. However, each party will be responsible for any costs it incurs through its participation in the MOU.

8.2

  1. All collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of personal information under this MOU will, for Canada, be in conformity with the requirements of the Privacy Act (R.S.C.  1985, c. P-21), and for Quebec, with the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information (R.S.Q. A-2.1), and all regulations made under those laws.
  2. For this purpose, the parties undertake specifically to:
    1. collect only such personal information as is required to carry out the Program;
    2. limit disclosure of personal information to the information required to carry out the Program;
    3. take appropriate action to ensure that
      • only the designated representatives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Quebec, the participating institutions and the authorized persons within those bodies can have access to the personal information collected or shared; and,
      • information to be shared is protected during communication or transmittal;
    4. take reasonable security measures to ensure the physical integrity of locations where collected and shared information is stored and that the confidential nature of that information is thereby protected during use, retention and disposal; and,
    5. inform the other party of any failure to protect the confidentiality of personal information on its part, on the part of its staff, or on the part of persons working on the Program.
  3. Each party is responsible for its own employees’ actions and for the actions of any third parties it hires (consultants, contractors, etc.).

9. Dispute resolution process

In case of any dispute or disagreement under this MOU or any annex thereof, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec shall, as much as possible, undertake verbal or written dialogue to attempt to resolve the dispute or disagreement through their respective officials or, when necessary, refer the matter to officials at the deputy minister level.

10. Transitional and final provisions

10.1 This MOU will be in effect for a period of three years, commencing on the date signed by the last of the two parties, subject to subsection 10.7.

10.2 This MOU replaces the Agreement on Off-Campus Work for International Students, which was implemented on May 21, 2004.

10.3 As of the effective date of this MOU, and throughout a maximum six month transition period thereafter, applications under the Agreement on Off-Campus Work for International Students will be processed as if filed under this MOU, after which time, only applications filed by students attending institutions participating in this MOU will be processed.

10.4 This MOU may be amended by the written agreement of both parties.

10.5 The text of Annex 2 and of subsection 5.2 may be changed without requiring amendment to the MOU. All changes should be communicated to the other party in writing.

10.6 At the end of the three-year period referred to in subsection 10.1, the MOU will be extended for another three-year period, unless one party notifies the other party of its withdrawal in accordance with subsection 10.7.

10.7 Either party may terminate the MOU upon at least 90 days written notice to the other party. Quebec will forward such notice to participating institutions without delay so that they may be in a position to stop providing Verification Forms, pursuant to the arrangements described in Annex 2 to this MOU, to students as soon as written notification of intent to terminate is received.

10.8 Notwithstanding the termination of this MOU pursuant to subsection 10.7, students participating in the Program would be able to continue working until the end of the validity period of their work permit, and Quebec will continue to monitor and report on student compliance in respect of students whose work permits have not yet expired, until the validity period of their work permit ends.

11. Signature

Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2005 in triplicate:

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

_______________________________
Janice Charette
Deputy Minister,
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2005 in triplicate:

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC

_______________________________
Maryse Alcindor
Deputy Minister, Ministère de l’Immigration et des
Communautés culturelles

Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2005 in triplicate:

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC

_______________________________
Camille Horth
Associate Secretary General
of the Secrétariat aux affaires
intergouvernementales canadiennes


ANNEX 1
LIST OF ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS

UNIVERSITIES (18)

École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montreal
École nationale d’administration publique
École Polytechnique Montreal
Institut national de la recherche scientifique
Télé-université
Bishop’s University
Concordia University
Université de Montreal
Université de Sherbrooke
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
Université du Québec à Montreal
Université du Québec – École de technologie supérieure
Université du Québec en Outaouais
Université du Québec à Rimouski
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Université Laval

McGill University

PUBLIC COLLEGES (CÉGEPS) UNDER THE MINISTÈRE DE L’ÉDUCATION, DU LOISIR ET DU SPORT (48)

Cégep André-Laurendeau
Cégep Beauce-Appalaches
Cégep de Baie-Comeau
Cégep de Chicoutimi
Cégep de Drummondville
Cégep de Granby Haute-Yamaska
Cégep de Jonquière
Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Cégep de l’Outaouais
Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles
Cégep de La Pocatière
Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon
Cégep de Matane
Cégep de Rimouski
Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup
Cégep de Sainte-Foy
Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe
Cégep de Saint-Jérôme
Cégep de Saint-Laurent
Cégep de Sept-Îles
Cégep de Sherbrooke
Cégep de Sorel-Tracy
Cégep de St-Félicien
Cégep de Thetford
Cégep de Trois-Rivières
Cégep de Victoriaville
Cégep du Vieux Montreal
Cégep John Abbott College
Cégep Limoilou
Cégep Marie-Victorin
Cégep régional de Lanaudière
Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Champlain Regional College
Collège Ahuntsic
Collège d’Alma

Dawson College
Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne
Collège de Maisonneuve
Collège de Rosemont
Collège de Valleyfield
Collège Édouard-Montpetit
Collège François-Xavier-Garneau
Collège Gérald-Godin

Heritage College
Collège Lionel-Groulx
Collège Montmorency
Collège Shawinigan

Vanier College

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS UNDER AN ORGANIZATION OTHER THAN THE MINISTÈRE DE L’ÉDUCATION, DU LOISIR ET DU SPORT (4)

Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec
Institut de technologie agroalimentaire
Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec

Macdonald College – McGill University

PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS SUBSIDIZED BY THE MINISTÈRE DE L’ÉDUCATION, DU LOSIR ET DU SPORT (26)

Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy
Collège André-Grasset (1973) inc.
Collège Bart (1975)
Collège Centennial
Collège d’affaires Ellis (1974) inc.
Collège international des Marcellines
Collège international Marie de France
Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf
Collège Laflèche
Collège LaSalle

Marianopolis College
Collège Mérici
College Mother House
Collège O’Sullivan de Montreal inc.
Collège O’Sullivan de Québec inc.
Collège préuniversitaire Nouvelles Frontières
Collège Stanislas inc.
Conservatoire Lassalle (1964) inc.
École commerciale du Cap inc.
École de musique Vincent-d’Indy
École de sténographie judiciaire du Québec
École nationale de cirque
Institut Grasset
Institut Teccart (2003) inc.
Le Petit Séminaire de Québec
Séminaire de Sherbrooke


ANNEX 2
SAMPLE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON IMPLEMENTING THE OFF-CAMPUS WORK PERMIT PROGRAM FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

BETWEEN

THE MINISTÈRE DE L’IMMIGRATION ET DES COMMUNAUTÉS CULTURELLES,
on behalf of the Government of Quebec, represented by the assistant deputy minister of the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles, hereinafter referred to as the Ministry,

AND

THE [NAME OF INSTITUTION],
a legal person, duly constituted according to law, having its head office in [City]
represented by [Title of Official],
duly authorized for the purposes hereof,
hereinafter referred to as the Institution.

Whereas a Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students has been entered into between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, and which provides for a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry and each eligible institution that wants to participate in the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students,

the parties agree as follows:

1. Definitions

In this document, unless otherwise indicated, the term “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) refers to the Memorandum of Understanding on Implementing the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students.

The other terms used convey the meaning attributed to them in the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec.

2. Purpose and objectives of the MOU

2.1 The purpose of this MOU is to define the parties’ responsibilities and their operational partnership with respect to the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students.

2.2 The objectives of this MOU are as follows:

  1. to enable international students attending the Institution to work off-campus without the requirement for a Human Resource and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) labour market opinion provided they meet the conditions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding on Off-Campus Work Permits Program for International Students Between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec;
  2. to allow international students in Quebec to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the societies of Quebec and Canada through accessing the Canadian labour market; and
  3. to ensure that participating international students fulfil the conditions of the Off-Campus Work Permit Program in such a way that their studies remain their main activity.

3. Ministry responsibilities

3.1 The Ministry gives the Direction des politiques et programmes d’immigration familiale, sociale et humanitaire responsibility for coordinating the Program on off-campus work throughout Quebec.

3.2 In order to ensure consistent application of the Program, the Ministry, in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provides the Institution with guides and forms to be used for the following purposes:

  • informing institutions of their roles and responsibilities in administering this program
  • submitting a report once every year, by November 1, on participating students who have become ineligible.

3.3 The Ministry gives Citizenship and Immigration Canada the names of participating students who have become ineligible, by compiling a report based on the information provided by all participating institutions. If no participating students in the province have become ineligible, the province must notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada by submitting a “nil” report.

4. Institution responsibilities

4.1 The institution requests that students asking for a Verification Form sign a declaration stating that:

  1. they understand and accept the eligibility conditions of their participation in the Program
  2. they authorize the Institution they attend to share their personal information with the Ministry and Citizenship and Immigration Canada for purposes of ensuring that they meet the program requirements
  3. they authorize that their personal information be shared with the Ministry and Citizenship and Immigration Canada for use in reporting on their continuing eligibility for the Program.

4.2 At the request of an international student, the Institution verifies that the student meets the eligibility conditions. If so, the Institution may complete the Verification Form, as described in the Guide for Designated Institutional Representatives on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program, and then return it to the student.

4.3 Once every year, on October __ (a set date in October to be determined by the province and preferably after the institutional drop/add dates), the Institution verifies that all students to whom they have issued a Verification Form are registered in full time studies and have achieved satisfactory academic results during the regular school year since the last verification. The Institution is responsible for determining what constitutes satisfactory academic results, depending on the program of study.

The Institution must then report, by November 1, to the Ministry any verified student who has become ineligible for the Program since the Verification Form was issued or since the Institution last made a report to the Ministry, whichever is the most recent.

A participating student should be reported as having become ineligible if he or she was issued a Verification Form but is no longer registered in full-time studies at the Institution or has not maintained satisfactory academic results.

If all participating students remain eligible for the Program, the Institution must notify the Ministry by submitting a “nil” report.

4.4 For the purpose of the report in subsection 4.3, a participating student also includes any student who was issued a Verification Form by another participating institution and who has since transferred to the Institution, provided the former institution has informed the latter of the transfer through a Transfer of Verification Form.

4.5 At the request of a participating student who is transferring to another participating institution, the Institution will complete a Transfer Verification Form and forward that form directly to the student’s destination institution.

4.6 The Institution is required to continue to fulfil its reporting requirements for participating students as outlined in subsection 4.3 even if the MOU is terminated by either of the parties.

5. Protection of personal information

5.1

  1. All collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of personal information under this MOU must be in conformity with the requirements of the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information (R.S.Q. A-2.1).
  2. For this purpose, the parties undertake specifically to:
    1. collect only such personal information as is required to carry out the Program;
    2. limit disclosure of personal information to the information required to carry out the Program;
    3. take appropriate action to ensure that
      • only persons so authorized by the parties, or by Citizenship and Immigration Canada with respect to the responsibilities of Citizenship and Immigration Canada in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec may have access to the personal information collected or shared pursuant to this MOU, and;
      • shared information is protected during transmission;
    4. take reasonable security measures to ensure the physical integrity of locations where collected and shared personal information is stored and that the confidential nature of that information is thereby guaranteed during use, retention and disposal; and
    5. inform the other party of any failure to protect the confidentiality of personal information on its part, on the part of its employees, or on the part of persons working on the Program.

6. Designated representatives

6.1 Each party designates a representative to respond to and follow up on all questions concerning this MOU.

  1. For the Ministry, the designated representative is:
    [Address including telephone]

  2. For the Institution, the designated representative is:
    [Address including telephone]

6.2 The Ministry and the Institution shall update each other in a timely manner of any change of representative.

6.3 The designated representative for the Institution may be asked to represent the participating institutions on an advisory committee as per article 6 of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec.

7. Start date and duration

7.1 This MOU is effective on ________________, 2005, and remains in effect, subject to article 7.3, as long as the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec.

7.2 In the event of amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, this MOU shall also be amended as required.

7.3 Notwithstanding the foregoing, a party may terminate this MOU at any time by written notice to the other party, as early as possible and not less than 30 days prior to termination, stating the effective date of that termination.

7.4 Notwithstanding the termination of the Program at the Institution, students participating in the Program would be able to continue working until the end of the validity period of their work permit, and the Institution would be required to continue to monitor and report on student compliance in respect of students whose work permits have not yet expired, until the validity period of their work permit ends.

7.5 In the event of termination of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, the Institution must stop issuing students the Verification Form as soon as notice of this termination is received from the Ministry.

Signed at ______________________ this _____ day of _______________ 2005.

[Ministry]

_______________________
by (name of signatory)

[Institution]

_______________________
by (name of signatory)

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