Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, is scheduled to announce measures for enhancing integrity in international student programs today at 10:45 AM Eastern time.
Challenges International Students Face in Canada
Today’s announcement addresses a pressing issue when over 700 Indian students studying in Canada faced the prospect of deportation earlier this year. It turned out that their letters of acceptance (LOAs) were fraudulent, a discovery made by the Canadian government. Many of these students arrived in Canada to pursue their studies in 2018 and 2019. Fraud only came to light when some of these students were applying for permanent residency after completing their studies. Investigations revealed that an immigration consultant in India had forged the LOAs and subsequently disappeared.
In response, IRCC assured that international students unaware of or uninvolved in the fraudulent activities wouldn’t be subject to deportation.
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This incident drew significant attention to the issue of fraudulent activities affecting international students in Canada.
Additionally, the IRCC has recently initiated consultations regarding the potential implementation of a “Trusted Institution Framework” for DLIs. It’s also known as a “Recognized Institution Framework.” DLIs encompass colleges, universities, and other educational institutions approved by provincial and territorial governments to admit international students. The proposal suggests that DLIs meeting specific integrity criteria set by the IRCC could become eligible for various benefits. Such as the potential expedited processing of study permit applications.
Past Statements by Miller Raise Concerns Regarding Integrity
Since assuming the role of Canada’s immigration minister this summer, Miller has consistently expressed his concerns about international student integrity. In numerous interviews conducted since the summer, Miller emphasized the pressing issue of “integrity challenges.” Within the current visa process for international students throughout Canada.
Paralleling many of the observations outlined in the Senate report, Miller underscored that international students often find themselves enticed by “false hope.” Propagated by opportunistic individuals, a matter that the IRCC acknowledges must be vigorously addressed in the future.
Furthermore, he discussed the imperative to confront integrity-related issues during a recent hearing before the Canadian Parliamentary Committee for Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM).
Canada to Welcome 900,000 International Students in the Current Year
Canada has established itself as a prominent destination for international students. In 2022, the country set a new record by hosting 551,405 international students hailing from 184 different nations. By the end of 2022, there were 807,750 international students in Canada. All holding valid Canadian study permits, marking yet another historic high. Canada’s international student population has quadrupled over the past 15 years, and several factors have contributed to this remarkable growth. Furthermore, the increasing global middle-class interest in pursuing studies abroad, coupled with Canada’s appeal to international students due to its exceptional educational quality, employment opportunities, and accessible immigration pathways.
In 2022, India (with 226,450 students), China (52,165 students), and the Philippines (23,280 students) were the primary source countries of new international students. Ontario, with 411,000 students, and British Columbia, with 164,000 students, were the leading provinces where these students chose to study.
Marc Miller has revealed that Canada is well on its way to accommodating approximately 900,000 international students in 2023.
The Canadian government continues to issue a substantial number of study permits. From January to June 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) granted over 280,000 new study permits, indicating a remarkable 77% increase compared to the same period in 2022.