While June means the end of the school year for many of Canada’s students, it also marks the beginning of new regulations that will impact those from around the world who currently are or will be seeking to continue their studies in Canada. Some of the new regulations, which became effective June 1, 2014, will make it easier for students to work part-time or after they’ve completed their studies, while other changes put stricter limits on the kind of institutions for which study permits will be issued.
- Status at Time of Application. Previously, study permit applicants only needed to show that they intended to pursue studies in Canada when applying for a study permit. Effective June 1, applicants must now actually enroll in and continue to pursue studies in Canada to be eligible for a study permit. Failure to do so could lead to removal from Canada. Additionally, the new rules remove the previous prohibition against visitors applying for a study permit from within Canada, Now, visitors may apply for a study permit from within Canada if they are at the pre-school, primary or secondary level, are on an academic exchange or a visiting student at a designated learning institution, or have completed a course or program of study that is a condition for acceptance at a designated learning institution.
- Eligible Institutions. Previously, international students could apply for a study permit to pursue studies at any educational institution in Canada. As of June 1, 2014, you will need to identify the institution by its Designated Learning Institution number (DLI#) on the application form. You can find a list of designated learning institutions, along with their DLI# here. If your study permit application is received on or after June 1 and your letter of acceptance is from an institution that is not designated for international students, your application will be refused.
- Working While in School. The new rules now make it easier for study permit holders to work off campus. The old rules required students to apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit in order to be able to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks. Now, study permits will automatically allow an international student to:
- work off campus without a work permit;
- work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full time during regularly scheduled breaks; and
- work off campus immediately rather than waiting six months.
- Expiration and Post-Graduate Work. Under the old rules,international students who have completed their studies but hold valid study permits could remain legally in Canada until the expiration of their study permit. That is no longer the case; study permits become invalid 90 days following the completion of studies unless the foreign national also possesses a valid work permit or another authorization to remain in Canada. Along those lines, eligible international graduates will now be authorized to work full-time after their studies are completed until a decision is made on their application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. Previously, study permit holders had to wait until their Post-Graduation Work Permit application was approved before they could legally work in Canada.
Some Rules Remain the Same
Under the new rules, applicants still must meet the standard eligibility criteria for a study permit. Applicants must:
- prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
- tuition fees;
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada; and
- return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada;
- be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada;
- be in good health and willing to undergo a medical examination, if necessary; and
- satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.
If you have questions about the new study permit rules or have any other issues regarding pursuing your studies in Canada, please contact Toronto immigration lawyer Larry Butkowsky. His legal practice focuses solely on immigration law and he can assist you with all of your immigration questions, concerns, and issues.
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