Program delivery update – May 30, 2014

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

New regulations for the International Student Program

Summary

New regulations for the International Student Program will come into force on June 1, 2014.

The goal of these changes is to strengthen the integrity of Canada’s International Student Program by reducing the number of non-genuine and poor quality educational institutions hosting study permit holders and facilitating the entry into Canada of those foreign nationals that sincerely wish to receive a Canadian education.

Highlight of key changes

Regulatory amendment Study permit holders already in Canada and foreign nationals who apply for a study permit before June 1, 2014 Foreign nationals who apply for a study permit on or after June 1, 2014
Must be enrolled at a designated learning institution [R220.1(1)(a)]

Transitional provisions apply: If attending an institution that has not been designated to host international students as of June 1, they may transfer to a designated learning institution or continue to study at that institution until they complete their program of study (up to June 1, 2017). They may also apply to renew their study permit in order to complete their course or program of study at that institution.

New requirement applies: Issuance of study permits is limited to persons who have been accepted to study at a designated learning institution.

All primary and secondary institutions in Canada are automatically designated. For institutions at the post-secondary level, a list of designated learning institutions is available on the CIC website and in the Global Case Management System (GCMS).

Exceptions: persons described in R300(2)(a) to (i) and R215(2)(a) to (i).
Must actively pursue course or program of study [R220.1(1)(b)]

Applicable: Regardless of the designation status of the institution, they must actively pursue their studies (i.e., make progress towards completing their course or program of study).

Exceptions: persons described in R300(2)(a) to (i) and R215(2)(a) to (i).

Applicable: They must remained enrolled at a designated learning institution and must actively pursue their studies (i.e., make progress towards completing their course or program of study).

Exceptions: persons described in R300(2)(a) to (i) and R215(2)(a) to (i).

Study permit validity [R222(1)(a)]

Not applicable: Validity of study permits based on the expiry date as established on the date of issuance.

Applicable: Study permits automatically become invalid 90 days after the holder completes their course or program of study (e.g., those who transfer to a program that is shorter in duration than the program for which the study permit was issued).

Exceptions: persons described in R300(2)(a) to (i) and R215(2)(a) to (i).

Off-campus authorization [R186(v) and (w)]

Note: Students who have applied for an off-campus work permit prior to June 1, but have not yet received it should wait for a decision from CIC before begin working, even though they may automatically become eligible as of June 1.

Applicable: They may work off campus without a work permit if they hold a study permit and are: i) full-time, ii) enrolled at a designated learning institution, and iii) enrolled in an academic, vocational or professional training program, or a vocational program at the secondary level offered in Quebec, leading to a degree, diploma or certificate. The studies must also be a minimum of six months in duration.

They may work no more than 20 hours during regular academic sessions.

Note: Students undertaking English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) programs, or general interest or preparatory courses are not eligible.

Applicable: They may work off campus without a work permit if they hold a study permit and are: i) full-time, ii) registered at a designated learning institution, and iii) enrolled in an academic, vocational or professional training program or a vocational program at the secondary level offered in Quebec, leading to a degree, diploma or certificate. The studies must also be a minimum of six months in duration.

They may work no more than 20 hours during regular academic sessions.

Note: Students undertaking ESL/FSL programs, or general interest or preparatory courses are not eligible.

Co-op Work Permit Program [R205(c)(i.1) and (i.2)]

Transitional provisions apply: If applying for a work permit prior to June 1, they do not need to meet the new eligibility requirements of the Co-op Work Permit Program (such as enrollment at a designated learning institution). They may also qualify for an initial co-op work permit and for renewal until their research, educational or training program ends (up to June 1, 2017).

New eligibility requirements apply: They may be eligible for a co-op work permit program if: the work is an essential part of a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program offered by a designated learning institution; or the work is an essential part of a program at the secondary level that is a vocational training program offered by a designated learning institution, or a program offered by a designated learning institution that requires students to work in order to obtain their secondary or high school diploma or certificate of graduation.

Note: Students undertaking ESL/FSL programs, or general interest or preparatory courses are not eligible.

Changing from visitor to student in Canada (apply after entry): Certain additional foreign nationals (including some who are in Canada before June 1, 2014) may change their status from visitor to student. This means that they may apply for a study permit after entering Canada and be issued that permit from within Canada (no need to leave and re-enter at a port of entry).

Important system changes

  • Entering information on the educational institution: Officers must use the new list of post-secondary designated learning institutions that is available in GCMS (under the Organizations & Entities tab; Type = Organization; Sub Type = Designated learning institution).
  • Entering new study permit conditions: Until GCMS is fully functional at all ports of entry (June 1, 2014, to November 1, 2014), all offices must copy and paste the new study permit conditions into the Remarks section of the study permit. For further details, see Final decisions.

Updated instructions

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