Implementation of a measure to protect the integrity of the International Student Program in Quebec

News release

June 7, 2022—Ottawa, ON—Jean Boulet, Quebec Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration and Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region, and the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, announced a new measure to restrict access to the post-graduation work permit for certain graduates of unsubsidized private learning institutions.

This measure consists of making post-graduation work permits available only to graduates of a subsidized program of study. The goal is to take the corrective action needed to address gaps brought to light in an investigation by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur regarding certain unsubsidized private colleges.

Therefore, the Government of Quebec reached out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to align the post‑graduation work permit eligibility rules for Quebec with those in effect in other provinces. This will ensure that Quebec is not used as a gateway for settling permanently in Canada. In the other provinces, international students who have followed an unsubsidized program of study generally do not have access to this work permit. 

Quotes

“Canada recognizes the tremendous social, cultural and economic benefits that international students bring to this country. Making the change that Quebec requested to post-graduation work permit eligibility will improve the integrity of the program, bring Quebec’s private institutions further in line with those of other provinces and protect our well‑deserved reputation as a destination of choice for international students.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

“It is important to take action to protect the integrity of our immigration programs, which must promote sustainable integration into Quebec society. These adjustments will help attract international students to come study in all regions of Quebec and ensure that Quebec is not used as a gateway for settling in other provinces.”

– Jean Boulet, Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, and Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region

“The quality of education in Quebec’s higher education system is a priority for us, as is its reputation beyond our borders. A number of incidents pertaining to the recruitment of international students have occurred in the past and have caused us great concern. I am confident that these adjustments will make it easier, on the one hand, for the international student community to integrate into our society and, on the other hand, for them to contribute to Quebec’s visibility in numerous areas of activity.”

– Danielle McCann, Quebec Minister of Higher Education

“These adjustments will prevent our education system from being misused and ensure that newcomers can really broaden their educational horizons and increase their prospects in Quebec.”

– Jean-François Roberge, Quebec Minister of Education

Quick facts

  • Unsubsidized private learning institutions have been attracting a large number of international students since 2018.

  • For the period of 2016–2018, approximately 4,900 international students received a study permit for one of these institutions.

  • For the period of 2019–2021, the estimated number of international students who received a study permit for one of these institutions jumped to 11,500. 

  • The measure consists of restricting access to post-graduation work permits for unsubsidized private learning institutions so that only graduates of a subsidized program of study can access them. The restriction involves all levels of study. It will come into effect on September 1, 2023.

Associated links

Contacts

Contacts for media only

Aidan Strickland
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Aidan.Strickland@cic.gc.ca

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Maude Méthot-Faniel
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration and Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region
438-526-8750 

Valérie Chamula
Director of Communications and
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Higher Education
418-809-1180
valerie.chamula@mes.gouv.qc.ca

Florent Tanlet
Press Secretary and Strategic Advisor
Office of the Minister of Education
florent.tanlet@education.gouv.qc.ca

Media Relations

Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
514-940-1630

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