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

Electronic Version

Original signed April 10, 2006


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 SASKATCHEWAN,
represented by the Deputy Minister of Government Relations and the Deputy Minister of Learning, hereinafter referred to as Saskatchewan.

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 Regulations (R205 (c) (ii)), while giving international students opportunities to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Canadian society;

Whereas Citizenship and Immigration Canada wishes 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 the parties acknowledge that they are committed to preserving the integrity of the off-campus work permit program for international students based on educational priorities;

Whereas Saskatchewan will coordinate the implementation of this program in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Saskatchewan’s eligible institutions; and,

Whereas

the majority of Saskatchewan’s eligible institutions are willing to participate in an off-campus work permit program under the coordination of Saskatchewan.

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 Saskatchewan and listed in Annex 1 of this Memorandum of Understanding (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 Saskatchewan.

“Participating institution” means any Eligible institution that has entered into the Memorandum of Understanding on Implementing the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students, with Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan’s respective responsibilities in this regard.

2.2 The first objective of the Program is to enable International students meeting specific criteria to obtain a permit for off-campus work, without the requirement for a Service Canada (“SC”) labour market opinion.

2.3 The second objective of the Program is to provide Participating students with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Canadian society, 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 wishing 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 Saskatchewan 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 Regulations;
  6. informing Participating students of the applicable limits on their work permits;
  7. determining if 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 Saskatchewan hereby states its intention to be responsible for:

  1. entering into, with each Eligible institution wishing to participate in the Program, a memorandum of understanding outlining the terms and responsibilities involved in the Program, based on the model in Annex 2;
  2. coordinating Program implementation in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Participating institutions;
  3. committing to consistent implementation of the Program throughout Saskatchewan;
  4. 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;
  5. receiving and consolidating reports provided by all Participating institutions with respect to Participating students who have become ineligible, and providing reports with respect to this data (including ’nil’ reports) to Citizenship and Immigration Canada once every year by December first;
  6. appointing a staff member of Department of Government Relations as program coordinator for Saskatchewan.

4. Advisory Committee

4.1 Where, based on the views of both parties as set out by officials with their respective designated offices, as identified in subsection 6.1, a suitable Advisory Committee responsible for overseeing Program operation and ongoing evaluation does not already exist, Saskatchewan undertakes to establish one. The frequency of meeting and the composition of the Advisory Committee will be at the discretion of Saskatchewan, but should include as a minimum, representatives of the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, and of each type of participating institution.

5. Eligibility Criteria and Applicable Limits

5.1 Eligible institutions and Participating institutions are defined in section 1.1. 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 Saskatchewan.

5.2 Eligible students are those International students who attend Participating institutions and who:

  1. hold a valid study permit;
  2. are full-time students at the time of their application and have studied full-time for at least six months out of the previous twelve months, and in both instances, in a program that leads to a degree, diploma, or recognized certificate, other than English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL);
  3. since their application have been, and still continue to be, registered as full-time students in a program other than an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program ;
  4. have signed a consent form authorizing the exchange of personal information between the institution, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  5. have satisfactory academic standing in their specific program of study at the time of their application for a work permit, and have maintained satisfactory academic standing during the six months of full-time study out of the previous twelve months and (for the purposes of the annual verification) since their application ;
  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.

5.3 International students who take part in an exchange program at a participating institution and 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.

5.4 International students who are registered in programs that consist either exclusively or primarily of English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) instruction are not eligible to apply for a work permit under this Program.

5.5 Work permits issued under this Program are intended to have a validity not exceeding the duration of the study permit held by 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.

6. Designated Contact Offices

6.1 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.

6.2 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 Province of Saskatchewan:
    Immigration Branch
    Government Relations
    Suite 200, 1919 Saskatchewan Drive
    Regina, SK S4P 4H2

7. Evaluation

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

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, in conformity with the requirements of the Privacy Act (R.S.C.  1985, c. P-21), and, for Saskatchewan, with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and all Regulations made under those Acts and other relevant laws or policies with respect to either party .
  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, Saskatchewan, and 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 their own employees’ actions and for the actions of any third parties hired by them (consultants, contractors, etc.).

9. General and Transitional Provisions

9.1 This MOU will be in effect for a period of three years commencing on a date decided upon by both parties following the signature of this MOU and, on the part of the Government of Canada, subject to the confirmed approval of funding for the implementation of this program, subject to paragraphs 9.4 and 9.5.

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

9.3 The text of Annex 2 and of paragraph 6.2 may be changed without requiring amendment to the MOU. All changes should be communicated to the other party in writing. Saskatchewan is to provide Citizenship and Immigration Ca nada with a copy of each memorandum of understanding it enters into with its Participating institutions.

9.4 At the end of the three-year period referred to in paragraph 9.1, the MOU will be deemed to continue to be in effect for another three-year period, unless and until such time as it is superseded by the coming into effect of a renewed or amended MOU, or terminated subject to paragraph 9.5.

9.5 Either party may terminate the MOU upon 90 days written notice to the other party. Saskatchewan will forward such notice to participating institutions without delay so that they are 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.

9.6 Notwithstanding the termination of this MOU pursuant to paragraph 9.4 or 9.5, students participating in the Program would be able to continue working until the end of the validity period of their work permit, and Saskatchewan 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.

9.7 Nothing in this MOU is to be considered as creating any manner of legally binding commitment on the part of the parties. This MOU represents a statement of general intention on the part of the parties and does not represent any manner of binding contractual or other legal agreement on the part of either of the parties to the other whatsoever.

9.8 The English version of this MOU is authoritative. A French version of this MOU is also available.

10. Dispute Resolution Process

10.1 In case of any dispute or disagreement under this MOU or any annex, the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan, through their respective officials, shall undertake verbal or written dialogue to attempt to resolve the dispute or disagreement.

10.2 In the event that the respective officials from the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan are unable to resolve any dispute or disagreement within thirty (30) working days, the matter shall be referred to the respective parties’ Assistant Deputy Minister for resolution.

11. Ratification

Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2006 in triplicate, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada by the official representative for Canada as a party to this Memorandum of Understanding:

FOR CANADA

__________________________________
Deputy Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration Canada or designate

Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2006 in triplicate, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada by the official representative for Saskatchewan as a party to this Memorandum of Understanding:

FOR SASKATCHEWAN

__________________________________
Deputy Minister of Government Relations
or designate

__________________________________
Deputy Minister of Learning or designate


Annex 1
List of Eligible Institutions

University of Regina
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology


Annex 2
Sample Memorandum of Agreement on Implementing the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students

BETWEEN

the DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, on behalf of the government of Saskatchewan, represented by the Minister of Government Relations, hereinafter referred to as the Department,

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 Saskatchewan, and which provides for a memorandum of understanding between the Department and each eligible institution that wishes 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 Saskatchewan.

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 Service Canada (“SC”) 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 Saskatchewan;
  2. to allow international students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Canadian society 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. Department responsibilities

3.1 The Department gives the Immigration Branch responsibility for coordinating the program on off-campus work throughout Saskatchewan.

3.2 In order to ensure consistent application of the program, the Department, 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 1st, on participating students who have become ineligible.

3.3 The Department informs Citizenship and Immigration Canada 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 CIC by submitting a ’nil’ report.

4. Institution responsibilities

4.1 The Institution requests that those 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 to share their personal information with the Department 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 Department 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 15th, 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 1st, to the Department 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 Department, whichever is the most recent.

A participating student should be reported as having become ineligible if they were issued a Verification Form, but are no longer registered in full-time studies at the Institution, or have not maintained satisfactory academic results.

If no participating students at the Institution have become ineligible, the Institution must notify the Department by submitting a ’nil’ report.

4.4 For the purpose of the report in section 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 of 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 paragraph 4.3 even in the event that 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 will be in conformity with the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Saskatchewan.
  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 Saskatchewan, 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 Department, the designated representative is:
    Susan Birley, Immigration Policy Officer
    Immigration Branch
    Suite 200, 1919 Saskatchewan Drive
    Regina, SK S4P 4H2
    Telephone: (306) 787-1203
  2. For the Institution, the designated representative is:
    [Address including telephone]

6.2 The Department 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 4 of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.

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 Saskatchewan is in effect.

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 Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan, the Institution must stop issuing students the Verification Form as soon as notice of this termination is received from the Department.

Signed at __________ this ____ day of ____________, 2006

Department of Government Relations

_______________________________
by (name of signatory)

Institution

_______________________________
by (name of signatory)

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