international students

No PGWP For International Students In Private Quebec Colleges W.E.F. 2023

Today, IRCC announced Implementation of a measure to protect the integrity of the International Students Program in Quebec. A new measure to restrict access to the post-graduation work permit for certain graduates of unsubsidized private learning institutions.

The announcement was made by Jean Boulet, Quebec Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration (MIFI) and Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

So, students who graduate from unsubsidized private learning institutions in Quebec are no longer eligible for a Post-Graduation work permit starting September 1, 2023. However, students graduating form subsidized DLIs will continue to be eligible for PGWP.

What are Unsubsidized Colleges?

Unsubsidized colleges are for-profit institutions for which the Minister of Higher Education issues a license. This gives them permission to offer collegial education. Also, such institutions offer one or more short-term programs in a specific field. 

So, students who went to these colleges in Quebec were eligible for a work permit at the end of their study. Thus, they could stay and work in Canada for many years. Once this was revealed by Radio-Canada to the government, they launched an investigation.

This confirmed that there were dubious schemes involved in the arrival of these students. Students pay almost $25,000 to take a short training course, exclusively in English. So, this gave them access to a work permit. Also, students could leave Quebec to settle in any other province. 

What do these Measures Mean for International Students?

The new policy implies that Quebec is closing its immigration pathway available to international students who wants to attend unsubsidized private colleges. So, only those students who have completed a study program in a public or subsidized private college are eligible to get a work permit. 

In 2016-2018, there were around 4,900 work permits issued. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of permits issued jumped to 11,500. Also, the number of unsubsidized private colleges has increased significantly.

There were 28 in 2015 in Quebec and in 2020 the number went up to 49. Also, in other provinces, students who go through an unsubsidized program of study generally are not eligible for this work permit. Thus, it is going to be the same in Quebec now.

How To Check Unsubsidized Colleges

You can visit Quebec website here and check for the colleges listed under Non-subsidised private establishments. These colleges will not be eligible for PGWP effective from September 2023. Thus, this change is one of the fastest ways to solve the ‘integrity issues’ in the system. 


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