Canada’s new immigration system priorities outlined in the mandate letter

The new US guidance for consular officers may help international students get visas Verbalists Education and Language Network

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signaled reducing visa processing times and expanding immigration pathways for international students as priorities for the new Immigration Minister to work on. Canada has also confirmed further extensions for online study and postgraduate work eligibility.

Reducing application processing times and addressing related Covid-19 delays have been set as a priority. Currently, the typical processing time for a study permit application from outside of Canada is listed by the Canadian Immigration as 11 weeks.

The Prime Minister Trudeau also asks the new Immigration Minister to “expand pathways to Permanent Residence for international students and temporary foreign workers through the Express Entry system”. The potential of permanent residency is often cited as one of the key attractions of Canada as a study destination. A survey of 14,228 international students in Canada by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in 2018 found that 60 per cent of respondents intended to stay and eventually apply for permanent residency after completing their studies.

Now that a new mandate letter has been unveiled, we can expect IRCC to expand the scope of its priorities beginning in the coming months.

In related news, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed a further extension of flexibility on international students studying outside of Canada. International students will be allowed to count online study time from March 2020 to 31 August 2022 towards Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility. Moreover, international students will be able to complete up to 100 per cent of studies with a Canadian institution online and still be eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit.

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