Canada’s reforms fortify protections for international students

On 27 October 2023, Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced plans to implement measures aimed at strengthening Canada’s International Student Program. 


As the country welcomes 526,360 new permanent residents this year, Canada is taking the necessary steps to fortify the integrity of its International Student Program. Three new policy changes are proposed to enhance the experience of international students and protect them from potential threats, specifically concerning fraud and their general welfare. 

Enhanced verification process and protection (1 December 2023):  


To combat challenges that some students encountered earlier this year, post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) will be required to confirm each applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), starting 1 December 2023. This advanced verification process is a proactive measure to prevent difficult issues related to acceptance letters. This is also to check that study permits are granted based on genuine acceptance and offers.   

Recognized institution framework and priority processing (Fall 2024):  


In a forward-looking move, IRCC plans to implement a “recognised institution” framework by the 2024 fall semester. This framework aims to benefit post-secondary DLIs that uphold higher standards of services, support and outcomes for international students. Institutions meeting these criteria will enjoy priority processing of study permits for their prospective students, highlighting quality education standards.  

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program alignment (Upcoming month):  


As part of a comprehensive review, IRCC will assess the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) to introduce reforms that better align with the needs of the Canadian labour market, regional goals and Francophone immigration objectives. This initiative ensures that the pathway from education to employment remains calibrated to support both international students and Canada’s economic objectives. 


By implementing these new stringent measures, the government seeks to create a secure environment for genuine students. As Minister Miller stated: “We will continue to improve Canada’s International Student Program by protecting students and weeding out those who try to take advantage of them.” Institutions demonstrating full support will be acknowledged, and their applicants will enjoy expedited processing.  


Canada’s commitment to strengthening the International Student Program ensures that the benefits of international education extend to both its local and international student communities. To know more about the opportunities available for international students and updates about education in Canada, please reach out to our team at     

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