Canada to Tighten Work Permit Rules, Indian Students Likely to Get Affected

In a move that could put the future of many Indian students in jeopardy, the Canadian province of Quebec, along with the national government, has decided to tighten rules for procuring work permits for certain graduates of non-subsidised private educational institutions.

Under the new measure, which will come into effect from September 1, 2023, students will get access to Quebec’s post-graduation work permit only if they graduate from a subsidised study program at colleges and universities monitored by the provincial government.

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The new regulation will affect thousands of international students who come to Canada to get work permits after completing their course, a requirement to get permanent residency of the country. From 2016 to 2018, close to 5,000 students had got work permits through such non-subsidised education institutes. The number jumped sharply to 11,500 students between 2019-21.

The fees charged by such colleges often range between 15,000 to 25,000 Canadian Dollars which is roughly Rs 9 to 15 lakh in Indian currency.

The route of seeking permanent residency through work permits was used by many colleges to attract international students, most of whom were from India.

A joint statement issued by Quebec’s Minister of Immigration Jean Boulet and Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser stated that the move will improve ‘programme integrity’ and protect Canada’s reputation of being a preferred choice for foreign students, reported a leading news daily .

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Canada has emerged as one of the top foreign destinations for Indian students. A 2021 Mentor Conference Polls conducted by foreign Admits revealed that 64 per cent of the total students who planned to study abroad wanted to do it either in Canada or the US. Around 79 per cent of the students believed that studying in foreign universities will boost their employability and chances of working with reputed organisations.

The highest number of such students were from Maharashtra at 16.31 per cent. The footfall of the south states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu – comprised over half of the participants at 52.19 per cent.

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