The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration released Differential Treatment in Recruiting and Acceptance Rates of Foreign Students in Quebec and the Rest of Canada. The committee decided to examine international students recruitment process and acceptance rates in Quebec and the rest of Canada.
The examination focuses on understanding the realities of high refusal rates, increasing processing times, and their impacts on students. Based on the testimonies of 31 witnesses and several briefs between 1 February 2022 and 1 March 2022, the committee made 35 recommendations. Below is the summary of 5 recommendations in favour of international students.
Creation of a Special Program for International Students Without Financial Means
Committee advised allowing students to come to Canada and work full-time on an open work permit while studying part-time. This recommendation is specifically for students without financial means.
Moreover, they suggested reviewing the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program requirements to ensure these students are still eligible.
Issuance of Work Permits to Students in Co-op Programs
The committee recommended automatically issuing work permits to students enrolled in a co-op program. Further, they advised issuing work permits at the same time as their study permits with no extra cost.
No Work Permit Requirements for Work Integrated Learning (WIL)
Another suggestion is to recognize that a work permit is unnecessary for students enrolled in specific programs, such as internships. Briefly, students taking work-integrated learning with their studies should not require a work permit.
Allowing students to work more than 20 hours during studies
One of the recommendations was that international students should be able to contribute to the workforce during their studies. It alludes to allowing students to work more than 20 hours during their studies.
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Count student work experience toward Express Entry
Shamira Madhany, World Education Services (WES) director, said students’ work experience should count towards the Express Entry system. Moreover, she added that the earned experience should match acquired skills gained from Canadian education. However, to access these jobs, students require flexibility in the number of working hours.
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