Canada-Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding on a Pilot Project to Issue Work Permits for International Students

Electronic Version

Original signed October 31, 2003


BETWEEN

The Government of Canada
as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, herein after referred to as Citizenship and Immigration Canada

AND

The Government of Manitoba
as represented by the Minister of Advanced Education and Training, herein after referred to as Manitoba Advanced Education and Training

AND

The Government of Manitoba
as represented by the Minister of Labour and Immigration, herein after referred to as Manitoba Labour and Immigration

1.0 Preamble

1.1 The parties recognize that providing international students with limited access to the Canadian labour market will enhance the global competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions while giving international students opportunities to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Canadian society;

1.2 Citizenship and Immigration Canada intends to implement off-campus employment through pilot projects that are consistent with immigration legislation and lead to a nationally coherent model;

1.3 All parties acknowledge that they are jointly responsible to preserve the integrity of an international student program based on educational priorities;

1.4 Manitoba Advanced Education and Training will coordinate the implementation of this pilot project in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions;

1.5 Manitoba public post-secondary institutions are willing to participate in a pilot project under the coordination of Manitoba Advanced Education and Training;

1.6 Manitoba Labour and Immigration supports a pilot project and will facilitate its implementation in the context of its ongoing relationship with Citizenship and Immigration Canada on immigration issues.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Manitoba Advanced Education and Training and Manitoba Labour and Immigration agree as follows:

2.0 Purpose and Objective of MOU and Pilot Project

2.1 The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to set out the terms on which the parties will establish and carry out a pilot project to issue work permits for international students in Manitoba.

2.2 The objective of the pilot project is to allow international students from Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions to engage in off-campus employment. The parties intend that the pilot project will:

  1. provide international students with opportunities to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Canadian society;
  2. be consistent with national immigration policy and regulations with respect to international students;
  3. be consistent with the regionalization and labour market policies of Manitoba; and
  4. preserve the integrity of an international student program based on educational priorities.

2.3 This Memorandum of Understanding will not impose any financial responsibilities on the parties except that each party will be responsible for the costs it incurs in its own interest, related to its support of the Memorandum of Understanding.

3.0 Definitions

3.1 Except where otherwise provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding, words used in this Memorandum of Understanding that are defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, are to have the same meaning in this MOU as set out in this Act and Regulations.

4.0 Pilot Project Organization, Advisory Committee and Project Coordinator

4.1 Citizenship and Immigration Canada will:

  1. establish the core eligibility criteria for institutions and students wishing to participate in the pilot project;
  2. outline the type of information they would like to receive from pilot project partners; and
  3. issue work permits to eligible international students, in accordance with guidelines set out in the Foreign Workers Manual.

4.2 Manitoba Advanced Education and Training will:

  1. appoint a staff member of the International Education Branch to act as Project Coordinator, who will
    1. coordinate the participation of eligible institutions;
    2. ensure consistent implementation of the pilot project; and
    3. report regularly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding pilot project performance.

4.3 Participating institutions will:

  1. implement pilot project criteria according to separate Memoranda of Agreement with Manitoba Advanced Education and Training, which provide for their role in monitoring student compliance and ensuring that the pilot project maintains the integrity of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Foreign Student program; and
  2. report at regular intervals to the Project Coordinator.

4.4 Manitoba Advanced Education and Training, Manitoba Labour and Immigration, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will establish an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Government of Manitoba, and participating institutions to oversee the functioning of the pilot project and serve as a forum for its on-going evaluation. This Committee will meet as needed, at a minimum of three times per year.

5.0 Eligibility Criteria – Institutions and Students

5.1 Eligible institutions are public post-secondary institutions in Manitoba. Eligible institutions that choose to participate must sign a Memorandum of Agreement with Manitoba Advanced Education and Training agreeing to implement the pilot project and monitor student compliance with pilot project criteria. Institutions participating in the pilot project are listed in the Addendum. Any additions to the list can only be made with the prior approval of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

5.2 Eligible students are those international students attending participating institutions, who

  1. have completed a full academic session of study (two consecutive terms) within the previous 12 (twelve) months at a participating post-secondary institution in Manitoba;
  2. have been, and will continue to be, registered as full-time students during regular academic sessions;
  3. have signed a consent form authorizing the exchange of personal information between the institution, the Government of Manitoba and Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  4. maintain acceptable academic standing and continue to make satisfactory progress for their specific program of study;
  5. receive a Letter of Support from a participating institution;
  6. continue to fulfil the terms and conditions of their Study Permits and of their Work Permits; and
  7. have not been previously reported for non-compliance with pilot project conditions.

5.3 International students on a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program or a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or who are funded by the Canadian International Development Agency are not eligible for participation in this pilot project.

5.4 Eligible students will be permitted to apply for work permits allowing them to work in Manitoba, to a maximum of 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.

6.0 Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 The International Education Branch of Manitoba Advanced Education and Training is responsible to

  1. ensure consistent implementation of the pilot project by participating institutions;
  2. sign Memoranda of Agreement with participating institutions outlining the terms of the pilot project, consistent with this Memorandum of Understanding;
  3. work with participating institutions to develop consistent documents to:
    1. inform students of their obligations,
    2. obtain consents from students to allow disclosure of personal information for the purposes of the pilot project,
    3. provide letters of support to students from the institutions,
    4. inform employers of the terms and conditions of international student employment, and
    5. report both aggregate and personal data to Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  4. facilitate the development, in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the institutions, of compatible and coordinated data reporting systems and processes between the institutions and Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
  5. inform Citizenship and Immigration Canada of any cases of non-compliance by participants as soon as such information is received from participating institutions; and
  6. process data provided by the institutions and issue reports to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, once per regular academic term, containing aggregate data on overall student participation.

6.2 Participating institutions will:

  1. arrange to have each participating student sign a Student Declaration and Information Release Form indicating that he/she:
    1. understands and accepts the eligibility criteria underlying participation in the pilot project, and
    2. will report any changes in academic or employment status to the institution, and
    3. consents to the release of personal information for reporting purposes to pilot project partners, including the Government of Manitoba and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and
    4. consents to the release of personal information by their educational institution and from the Government of Manitoba to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to verify that he/she is complying with the requirements of the pilot project;
  2. verify that each participating student meets eligibility criteria and that he/she has maintained an acceptable academic standing for his/her specific program of study before issuing a letter of support allowing the student to apply for a work permit;
  3. forward student applications for work permits, along with signed information release consent forms, and letters of support verifying student eligibility, directly to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Processing Centre;
  4. enforce compliance with eligibility criteria by not supporting the renewal of work permits for students who fail to meet the eligibility criteria;
  5. ensure that students inform employers of the conditions under which international students are eligible to work off-campus by requiring them to return a form signed by the employer indicating that they are aware of those conditions;
  6. cooperate with the Government of Manitoba and with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the development of compatible and coordinated data reporting systems and processes;
  7. verify status and academic standing of all participating students once per term, and inform the Project Coordinator immediately of any cases of non-compliance; and
  8. issue reports to the Project Coordinator, at least once per regular academic term, containing aggregate data on overall student participation and more detailed information on cases of non-compliance.

6.3 Citizenship and Immigration Canada will:

  1. cooperate with the Government of Manitoba and participating institutions in the development of compatible and coordinated data reporting systems and processes;
  2. issue work permits for a duration of one year, or the duration of the Study Permit, whichever period is shorter, to applicants in status for whom a participating institution has submitted applications, completed by the students, with signed consents to disclosure of personal information and letters of support from the institution verifying the eligibility of the students; and
  3. specify as a limiting condition on those work permits, full-time attendance at a public post-secondary institution in Manitoba during regular academic sessions and permission to work in Manitoba, to a maximum of 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.

6.4 Manitoba Labour and Immigration will:

  1. facilitate implementation of the pilot project by ensuring consistency of project criteria with the Government of Manitoba’s immigration policies, as derived from the Canada Manitoba Immigration Agreement, and the Government of Manitoba’s labour policies, as derived from the Manitoba Employment Standards Act.

7.0 Designated Contact Offices

7.1 Each party will designate an office that will be responsible for ensuring the integrity of the Memorandum of Understanding and serve as the main point of contact for any questions or concerns arising from the Memorandum of Understanding.

7.2 The designated contact offices for the Memorandum of Understanding are

  1. For Citizenship and Immigration Canada:
    Economic Immigration Policy and Programs
    Selection Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Jean Edmonds Tower North
    300 Slater Street – 7th Floor
    Ottawa, ON K1A 1L1
  2. For Manitoba Advanced Education and Training:
    International Education Branch
    Manitoba Advanced Education and Training
    Manitoba Education and Youth
    330- 800 Portage Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3G 0N4
  3. For Manitoba Labour and Immigration:
    Immigration Promotion and Recruitment Branch
    Manitoba Labour and Immigration
    9th Floor – 213 Notre Dame Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3B 1N3

8.0 Evaluation

8.1 The Memorandum of Understanding will run for a period of two years. At the end of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Project Co-ordinator appointed by the Government of Manitoba under section 4.2a) will provide Citizenship and Immigration Canada with a final report which will include details of student participation and compliance with pilot project criteria, as well as an analysis of the pilot project’s success in meeting its objectives.

8.2 A formal evaluation of the pilot project will be conducted, early in its second year, in accordance with the established standards of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Manitoba Advanced Education and Training.

9.0 Amendment, Termination or Renewal

9.1

  1. This Memorandum of Understanding is effective on the date all parties have signed and remains in effect until July 1st, 2006.
  2. Notwithstanding the duration established for this Memorandum of Understanding as set out in 9.1(a) above, this Memorandum of Understanding will terminate upon implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba, signed on November 23, 2005, which implementation will occur, with respect to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, upon approval of the funding related to the implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding.

9.2 This Memorandum of Understanding can be amended by the mutual written agreement of the parties.

9.3 The contact information in 7.2 is subject to change without requiring amendment to this Memorandum of Understanding.

9.4 The list of institutions contained in the Addendum is subject to change without requiring amendment to this Memorandum of Understanding.

9.5 At the end of the two-year period, the parties can either choose to renew the current Memorandum of Understanding, amend and renew the Memorandum of Understanding or terminate the Memorandum of Understanding.

9.6 Any party may terminate the Memorandum of Understanding at any time by written notice to all other parties as early as possible and no less than three (3) months prior to the date of termination.

9.7 Participating educational institutions will stop providing letters of support for students when written notification of intent to terminate is received.

10.0 Other

10.1 All collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of personal information under this Memorandum of Understanding will be in conformity with the requirements of Canada’s Privacy Act (R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21), and with Manitoba’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (C.C.S.M. c. F175) and all Regulations made under those Acts.

10.2 The English and French versions of this Memorandum of Understanding are equally authoritative.

11.0 Ratification

11.1 Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2003 in triplicate in__________, __________, Canada by the following official representatives of the three parties to this Memorandum of Understanding:

FOR CANADA

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada or designate

FOR MANITOBA

Minister of Manitoba
Advanced Education and Training or designate

Minister of Manitoba Labour and Immigration or designate

ADDENDUM

Participating institutions pursuant to section 5.1

List of participating institutions

  • Assiniboine Community College;
  • Brandon University;
  • Keewatin Community College;
  • Le Collège Universitaire de Saint-Boniface;
  • Red River College;
  • University of Manitoba; and
  • University of Winnipeg.
Date Modified: