Advocacy around immigration issues that affect international students is important to EduNova and our members. For this reason, an Immigration Subcommittee has been created under the Operations Committee to enable members to collaboratively voice their concerns and engage in dialogue on issues that affect their competitiveness in attracting and retaining international students, such as study permit rejections and post-graduation work permits.
Please see immigration related updates below:
Student Direct Stream (SDS)
The IRCC’s announcement of the Student Direct Stream (SDS) is laudable as it pulls together several different immigration programs. This stream is available to students applying for a study permit from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines who are able to demonstrate upfront that they have the financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada. The intention is to improve processing times.
Currently this is only for post-secondary students but EduNova is in discussion with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to expand the program to other sectors. IRCC are also working to extend the program to several African countries in the coming months.
Meetings with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Immigration Subcommittee members met with IRCC to find common ground and address study permit related issues experienced by language schools, K-12 institutions, universities and colleges in the Atlantic provinces. IRCC representatives noted that they see increasing fraud in certain regions and thus study permit rejections are on the rise. One of the solutions to this and other problems is a proposed pilot program between EduNova members and IRCC, which would entail the following:
- Specific training for EduNova members that is endorsed by IRCC;
- Having IRCC fully understand our regional student recruitment and retention goals and admission requirements;
- Increasing information sharing between schools and IRCC officers to the goal of detecting and deterring fraudulent activity (sharing of transcripts, etc.); and
- Information-sharing sessions specifically for the Atlantic region.
IRCC advised that they will give feedback to the Subcommittee on future changes in terms of immigration that may have an impact on Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada as a whole.
Marketing education as a path to permanent residency
EduNova is in conversation with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration regarding creating a pro-immigration marketing piece to be included in international student recruitment messaging. We must ensure that explicit immigration-related marketing does not create unrealistic expectations for students or negatively affect interested students’ study permit applications. This is an area that will be addressed through engagement with IRCC.
Communication on immigration matters will be a regular focus in newsletters going forward.