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IRCC Introduces New Measures to Authenticate International Students’ Acceptance Letters

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IRCC is initiating measures to bolster and preserve the integrity of Canada’s international student program. The immigration department has introduced a dedicated online portal for Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). It’s the sole school authorized in Canada to admit international students. Through this portal, DLIs now have to verify international students’ letters of acceptance (LOAs) to support their visa applications.

Under this new protocol, DLIs will conduct LOA verification exclusively through an online portal accessible only to their representatives to IRCC. Schools have a window of 10 calendar days to authenticate letters of acceptance. Failure to validate the LOA within this timeframe or identification of a fraudulent letter will result in the cancellation of the student visa application. In addition with cancellation of any processing fees paid by the applicant will be refunded.

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In addition, DLIs will no longer have access to verify LOAs once the verification deadline has passed. These changes are a response to past abuses within Canada’s international student systems. A notable case from last year involved the near-deportation of 700 Indian students.  Who were victims of a scam lured to Canada based on false acceptance letters fabricated by a fraudulent immigration consultant. The new measures aim to prevent such incidents and uphold the credibility of the international student program.

Trusted Institutions Framework for DLIs 

This year, IRCC introduced a groundbreaking initiative known as the “Trusted Institutions Framework” for DLIs. As discussed above, this framework proposes a two-tiered system for issuing study permits.

Under this policy, DLIs identified as trusted institutions within the framework would enjoy several benefits. Including expedited processing of study permits. Also, while specific details about the functioning of this framework are currently limited, anticipation is to implement it in fall of 2024. Besides, throughout this year, IRCC has consistently emphasized its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the international student program.

Furthermore, in pursuit of this goal, the department has indicated a willingness to explore measures such as potentially limiting the number of student visas. This precautionary step ensures that DLIs can adequately support international students throughout their academic journey, reflecting IRCC’s dedication to maintaining a high standard of support and integrity within the international student program.

Significant Transformations Anticipated for Canada’s International Student Program in 2024

In 2024, Canada’s international student program will go through significant transformations. With pivotal changes scheduled throughout the year marking substantial developments.

Specifically, in 2024, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to:

  • Reevaluate the 20-hour work cap for international students.
  • Terminate the facilitative measure that allows international students to count time spent abroad towards their PGWP.
  • Increase the cost-of-living requirement for students by an additional CAD 10,000.
  • Lastly, introduce new modifications to the PGWP program.

Additionally, the department aims to establish a more direct correlation between international student enrollment, PGWP issuance, and the labor market and demographic needs. As Canada anticipates accommodating nearly one million international students in the upcoming year, 2024 will significantly change its global student landscape.

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