Canada Student Visa Policy Changes Worry NS Language Schools

Source: CBC via Academica

A recent change to international student visa requirements has caused concern among Nova Scotia’s English language schools, reports CBC. Introduced in July, the new legislative changes require international students in Canada to obtain a second visa before moving from secondary to postsecondary school. “What happened before the changes is students could apply for language training and university training and receive one study permit to cover the whole of the time that they were going to be in Canada,” says Sheila Nunn, president of East Coast School of Languages in Halifax. “This gave them the confidence that they knew that they would go on to the university, they didn’t have to apply for any other paperwork.” Nunn adds that the new regulations might jeopardize pathways programs currently established at NS universities.

Canada Introduces New Visa Process for Conditional Admissions

Source: ICEF Monitor

The Canadian government has quietly introduced an important change to how it processes visas for students entering Canada to pursue conditional admissions or pathway programmes. Under the new processing policy, visa officers are instructed to issue a study permit – that is, a Canadian study visa – only for the period of the student’s prerequisite studies. After successfully concluding any such preparatory studies, the student will now be asked to apply for a further study permit to cover the period of their planned academic programme. This is a departure from the previous practice which saw visa officers issue a single study permit for the entire duration of both programmes.

For the complete article, please visit ICEF Monitor.

Canadian Immigration Lawyer Warns of Challenges for Foreign Students

Source: Canadian Lawyer via Academica

Canada will have to closely monitor the performance of its shifting policies toward education- and business-based immigration if it wishes to preserve its fundamental diversity, writes Jennifer Nees, a Toronto-based business immigration lawyer. While the Pan Am Games have given Canadians recent cause to celebrate their country’s diversity, Nees adds that “the last seven months have shown a different story in terms of our current immigration policy.” While earlier systems might have offered a clearer path for foreign students to obtain work permits and begin new careers in Canada, Nees adds that “now, however, these students are getting lost in a maze of complex new systems with operating glitches and inconsistent processing.”

International Permit Wait Times Creating “Competitive Disadvantage”

Source: Edmonton Journal via Academica

According to the Edmonton Journal, Alberta’s international students are facing wait times of up to three months and are consequently being kept from presenting their research at conferences around the world. These students currently cannot leave the country without renewing their Canadian permits and visas unless they risk significant delays upon re-entering the country. These delays can affect their standing in university programs where many have studied for several years. Marcella Cassiano, a third-year PhD student in sociology at the University of Alberta, said, “International graduate students are highly mobile people. We cannot afford to be grounded in Canada for five months waiting for document renewal and miss the opportunity to present our research in international conferences.”

Canada: Internal Reviews Uncover Delays in Visa Processing

Source: The PIE News

Canada’s visa woes continue as multiple internal government reviews have revealed delays and errors in visa processing, seeing processing times increase by a third for study permits and double for permanent residence permits.

Members of the Canadian Bureau for International Education are “deeply concerned about the ballooning processing times that affect both their current and prospective students”, according to its vice-president, membership, public policy and communications, Jennifer Humphries.

“Timeliness, or its opposite, makes a huge difference in the choices that students make for their future,” she told The PIE News.

“To achieve the ambitions of Canada’s International Education Strategy, it is critical that government departments work together cohesively and make their shared objectives the priority, not departmental interests,” she urged. “It’s also critical that sufficient resources be allocated to deliver on the objectives.”

 

To read the full article, please visit The PIE News.

Lack of Resources and Coordination Contribute to Increased Processing Times for International Students

Source: Globe & Mail via Academica

According to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) report obtained by the Globe and Mail, insufficient resources and lack of coordination have contributed to a 30% increase in processing times for study permits and a doubling of the processing time for temporary resident visas. While the federal government has pledged to double the number of international students by 2022, it has not provided sufficient resources to do so, according to [CIEC Academic Member] Western University President Amit Chakma. Universities Canada President Paul Davidson said, “the question of visa processing times is a critical one in terms of attracting top students. If our competitors are able to turn around visas faster, all the marketing efforts, all the recruitment efforts, all the offers of scholarships fail.”