Canada-Ontario Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students

Electronic Version

Original signed November 28, 2005


BETWEEN

The Government of Canada,
represented by the Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, hereinafter referred to as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”),

AND

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF ONTARIO,
as represented by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, hereinafter referred to as the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (“MTCU”)

Whereas 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 per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations (R205 (c) (ii)), while giving international students opportunities to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Canadian society;

Whereas Citizenship and Immigration Canada wishes to implement an off-campus work permit program in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, on the basis of a nationally coherent model;

Whereas the parties acknowledge that they are committed to preserving the integrity of the off-campus work permit program for international students based on educational priorities;

Whereas education is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, therefore, it is necessary for MTCU to coordinate the administration of this program in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Ontario’s eligible institutions; and,

Whereas the majority of Ontario’s eligible institutions are willing to participate in an off-campus work permit program under the coordination of MTCU.

The parties hereto state their intentions as follows:

1. Definitions

1.1 In this document, the terms below are defined as follows:

“Eligible institution” means any publicly-funded post-secondary educational institution that is located in Ontario and listed in Annex 1 of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“International student” means a foreign national who is authorized to study in Canada.

MOU” means the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-campus Work Permit Program for International Students between CIC and MTCU.

“Participating institution” means any Eligible institution that has entered into the Memorandum of Understanding on Administering the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students with MTCU as per the form attached as Annex 2 of this MOU.

“Participating student” means an International student to whom a participating institution has issued a completed Verification Form.

“Program” means the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students, as prescribed by this MOU.

“Work Permit” means an Off-Campus Work Permit for International Students.

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

2. Purpose and Objectives of the MOU

2.1 The purpose of this MOU is to set out the terms and conditions of an Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students and to set out CIC’s and MTCU’s respective responsibilities in this regard.

2.2 The first objective of the Program is to enable International students meeting specific criteria to obtain a permit for off-campus work, without the requirement for a Human Resource and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) labour market opinion.

2.3 The second objective of the Program is to provide Participating students with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Canadian society, while preserving the integrity of the international student program.

3. Responsibilities of the Parties

3.1 CIC hereby states its intention to be responsible for:

  1. setting general eligibility criteria for institutions and students wishing to participate in the Program;
  2. committing to consistent administration of the Program throughout Canada;
  3. specifying the nature of the information required to administer and monitor the Program;
  4. providing advice and liaising with MTCU to assist in administration;
  5. issuing work permits to eligible International students, according to the criteria in the Guide for Designated Institutional Representatives on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program and the guidelines in CIC’s Foreign Worker Manual and in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations;
  6. informing Participating students of the applicable limits on their work permits;
  7. determining if a Participating student has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of their work permit, and deciding on appropriate action to be taken
  8. administering the Program in accordance with this MOU including the Guide for Designated Institutional Representatives on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program.

3.2 MTCU hereby states its intention to be responsible for:

  1. entering into a memorandum of understanding with each Eligible institution wishing to participate in the Program, outlining the terms and responsibilities involved in the Program, based on the model in Annex 2;
  2. coordinating Program administration in cooperation with CIC and the Participating institutions;
  3. committing to consistent administration of the Program throughout Ontario;
  4. facilitating the development, in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Eligible institutions, of compatible and coordinated systems and processes for fulfilling the reporting requirements of this MOU, which are detailed in sections 3 and 4 of Annex 2 to this MOU;
  5. receiving and consolidating reports provided by all Participating institutions with respect to Participating students who have become ineligible, and providing reports with respect to this data (including ’nil’ reports) to CIC once every year by December first;
  6. appointing a staff member of MTCU as program coordinator for MTCU;
  7. administering the Program in accordance with this MOU including the Guide.

4. Advisory Committee

4.1 Where, based on the views of both parties as set out by officials with their respective designated offices, as identified in subsection 6.1, a suitable Advisory Committee responsible for overseeing Program administration and ongoing evaluation does not already exist, MTCU undertakes to establish one. The frequency of meeting and the composition of the Advisory Committee will be at the discretion of MTCU, but should include as a minimum, representatives of the CIC, MTCU and of each type of Participating institution.

5. Eligibility Criteria and Applicable Limits

5.1 Eligible institutions and Participating institutions are defined in section 1.1. Any additions to the list of Eligible institutions in Annex 1 may only be made with the prior approval in writing of CIC and MTCU.

5.2 Eligible students are those International students who attend Participating institutions and who:

  1. hold a valid study permit;
  2. are full-time students at the time of their application and have studied full-time for at least six months out of the previous twelve months, and in both instances, in a program that leads to a degree, diploma, or recognized certificate, other than an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program:
  3. since their application have been, and still continue to be, registered as full-time students in a program other than an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program;
  4. have signed a consent form authorizing the exchange of personal information between the institution, MTCU, and CIC;
  5. have satisfactory academic standing in their specific program of study at the time of their application for a work permit, and have maintained satisfactory academic standing during the six months of full-time study out of the previous twelve months and (for the purposes of the annual verification) since their application;
  6. continue to fulfil the terms and conditions of their study permit and work permit, as applicable; and;
  7. Continue to meet the above eligibility requirements while in possession of a work permit.

5.3 International students who take part in an exchange program at a participating institution and International students who are in receipt of an award from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program or the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or an award from the Canadian International Development Agency are not eligible to apply for a work permit under this Program.

5.4 International students who are registered in programs that consist either exclusively or primarily of English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) instruction are not eligible to apply for a work permit under this Program.

5.5 Work permits issued under this Program are intended to have a validity not exceeding the duration of the study permit held by the participating student concerned, and will authorize students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during scheduled breaks. Both ’academic year’ and ’scheduled breaks’ are as defined by the applicable Participating institution.

6. Designated Contact Offices

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

6.2 The designated contact offices for the MOU are as follows:

  1. for CIC:

    Economic Immigration Policy and Programs Division
    Selection Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Jean Edmonds Tower North
    300 Slater Street, 7th Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

  2. for MTCU:

    Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
    Universities Branch
    7th Floor, Mowat Block
    900 Bay Street
    Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2

7. Evaluation

7.1 Following the completion of the second year of the Program, MTCU will conduct a formal evaluation in accordance with standards jointly developed by CIC and MTCU.

7.2 Nothing in provision 7.1 is intended to limit either party’s ability to conduct other evaluations as they see fit.

8. Other

8.1 This MOU imposes no specific financial responsibilities on the parties. However, each party will be responsible for any costs it incurs through its participation in the MOU.

8.2

  1. All collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of personal information under this MOU will, for Canada, be in conformity with the requirements of the Privacy Act (R.S.C.   1985, c. P-21), for CIC, and for Ontario, with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, as amended) for MTCU and all Regulations made under those Acts and other relevant laws or policies with respect to either party.
  2. For this purpose, the parties undertake specifically to:
    1. collect only such personal information as is required to administer the Program;
    2. limit use and disclosure of personal information to the information required to administer the Program;
    3. take appropriate action to ensure that
      • only the designated representatives of CIC, MTCU, and the Participating institutions and the authorized persons within those bodies can have access to the personal information collected or shared; and,
      • personal information to be shared is protected during communication or transmittal;
    4. take reasonable security measures to ensure the physical integrity of locations where collected and shared personal information is stored and that the confidential nature of that information is thereby protected during use, retention and disposal; and,
    5. inform the other party of any failure to protect the confidentiality of personal information on its part, on the part of its staff, or on the part of persons working on the Program.
  3. Each party is responsible for their own employees’ actions and for the actions of any third parties hired by them (consultants, contractors, etc.).

9. General Provisions

9.1 This MOU will be in effect for a period of three years commencing on a date decided upon by both parties following the signature of this MOU and, on the part of the Government of Canada, subject to the confirmed approval of funding for the implementation of this program, and subject to paragraphs 9.4 and 9.5.

9.2 This MOU may be amended by the written agreement of both parties.

9.3 The text of Annex 2 and of paragraph 6.2 may be changed without requiring amendment to the MOU. All changes should be communicated to the other party in writing. MTCU is to provide CIC with a copy of each Memorandum of Understanding it enters into with its Participating institutions.

9.4 At the end of the three-year period referred to in paragraph 9.1, the MOU will be deemed to continue to be in effect for another three-year period, unless and until such time as it is superseded by the coming into effect of a renewed or amended MOU, or terminated subject to paragraph 9.5.

9.5 Either party may terminate the MOU upon 90 days written notice to the other party. MTCU will forward such notice to Participating institutions without delay so that they are in a position to stop providing Verification Forms, pursuant to the arrangements described in Annex 2 to this MOU, to students as soon as written notification of intent to terminate is received.

9.6 Notwithstanding the termination of this MOU pursuant to paragraph 9.4 or 9.5, Participating students would be able to continue working until the end of the validity period of their work permit, and MTCU will continue to monitor and report on student compliance in respect of Participating students whose work permits have not yet expired, until the validity period of their work permit ends.

9.7 Nothing in this MOU is to be considered as creating any manner of legally binding commitment on the part of the parties. This MOU represents a statement of general intention on the part of the parties and does not represent any manner of binding contractual or other legal agreement on the part of either of the parties to the other whatsoever.

9.8 The English version of this MOU is authoritative. A French version of this MOU is also available.

10.0 Dispute Resolution Process

10.1 In case of any dispute or disagreement under this MOU or any annex, the CIC and MTCU, through their respective officials, shall undertake verbal or written dialogue to attempt to resolve the dispute or disagreement.

10.2 In the event that the respective officials from CIC and MTCU are unable to resolve any dispute or disagreement within thirty (30) working days, the matter shall be referred to the respective parties’ Assistant Deputy Minister for resolution.

11. Ratification

Signed this ______ day of ____________, 2005, in duplicate in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada by the official representative for Canada as a party to this Memorandum of Understanding:

FOR CIC

_______________________________
Deputy Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
or designate

Signed this ______ day of ____________, 2005, in duplicate in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by the official representative for MTCU as a party to this Memorandum of Understanding:

FOR MTCU

_______________________________
Deputy Minister of [Ministry] or
designate


Annex 1
List of Eligible Institutions

Universities

  1. Brock University
    Affiliated institution:
    Concordia Lutheran Seminary
  2. Carleton University
  3. Collège Dominicain de Philosophie et de Théologie
  4. Lakehead University
  5. Laurentian University
    Affiliated institutions:
    Huntington University
    University of Sudbury
    Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
    Thorneloe University
  6. Algoma University
  7. Université de Hearst
  8. McMaster University
    Affiliated institution:
    McMaster Divinity College
  9. The Michener Institute
  10. Nipissing University
  11. Ontario College of Art & Design
  12. Queen’s University
    Affiliated institution:
    Queen’s Theological College
  13. Ryerson University
  14. Trent University
  15. University of Guelph
  16. University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  17. University of Ottawa
    Affiliated institution:
    St. Paul University
  18. University of Toronto
    Affiliated institutions:
    Knox College
    Regis College
    St. Augustine’s Seminary
    St. Michael’s College
    Trinity College
    Victoria University
    Wycliffe College
  19. University of Waterloo
    Affiliated institutions:
    Conrad Grebel University College
    Renison College
    St. Jerome’s University
    St. Paul ’s United College
  20. University of Western Ontario
    Affiliated institutions:
    Brescia College
    Huron College
    King’s College
    St. Peter’s Seminary
  21. University of Windsor
  22. Wilfrid Laurier University
  23. York University

Colleges

  1. Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology
  2. Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology
  3. Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology
  4. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
  5. Collège Boréal d’arts appliqués et de technologie
  6. Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  7. Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology
  8. Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology
  9. Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology
  10. Sir Stanford Fleming College
  11. George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology
  12. Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology
  13. Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  14. La Cité collégiale
  15. Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology
  16. Loyalist College of Applied Arts and Technology
  17. Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
  18. Niagara College
  19. Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology
  20. St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology
  21. St. Lawrence College
  22. Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology
  23. Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
  24. Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Annex 2
Sample Memorandum of Understanding on Administering the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students

BETWEEN

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF ONTARIO,
as represented by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities (“Ministry”)

AND

The [Name of Institution] (“Institution”)

Whereas a Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students has been entered into between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) and the Ministry, and which provides for a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry and each Eligible institution that wishes to participate in the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students,

the parties agree as follows:

1. Definitions

In this document, unless otherwise indicated, the term “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) refers to the Memorandum of Understanding on Administering the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students.

The other terms used convey the meaning attributed to them in the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between CIC and the Ministry.

2. Purpose and objectives of the MOU

2.1 The purpose of this MOU is to define the parties’ responsibilities with respect to the off-campus work permit program for international students.

2.2 The objectives of this MOU are as follows:

  1. to enable International students attending the Institution to work off campus without the requirement for a Human Resource and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) labour market opinion provided they meet the conditions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding on Off-Campus Work Permits Program for International Students Between CIC and the Ministry;
  2. to allow International students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Canadian society through accessing the Canadian labour market; and
  3. to ensure that Participating students fulfil the conditions of the off-campus work permit program in such a way that their studies remain their main activity.

3. Ministry responsibilities

3.1 The Ministry is responsible for coordinating the Program throughout Ontario in co-operation with CIC and Ontario’s Participating institutions.

3.2 In order to ensure consistent administration of the Program, the Ministry, in partnership with CIC, will provide the Institution with guides and forms to be used for the following purposes:

  • informing Institutions of their roles and responsibilities in administering this Program
  • informing International students of eligibility criteria and the exchange of personal information necessary to administer the Program
  • submitting a report once every year, by November 1st, on Participating students who have become ineligible.

3.3 The Ministry informs CIC of Participating students who have become ineligible by compiling a report based on the information provided by all Participating institutions. If no Participating students in the province have become ineligible, the province must notify CIC by submitting a ’nil’ report;

4. Institution responsibilities

4.1 The Institution shall request that those students asking for a Verification Form sign a declaration stating that:

  1. they understand and accept the eligibility conditions of their participation in the Program
  2. they authorize the Institution to share their personal information with the Ministry and CIC for purposes of ensuring that they meet the program requirements
  3. they authorize that their personal information be shared with the Ministry and CIC for use in reporting on their continuing eligibility for the program.

4.2 At the request of an International student, the Institution verifies that the student meets the eligibility conditions. If so, the Institution must complete the Verification Form, and then return it to the student. The Verification Form will be submitted to CIC directly by the International student.

4.3 Each year, on October 24th, the Institution verifies that all students to whom they have issued a Verification Form are registered in full-time studies and have achieved satisfactory academic results during the regular school year since the last verification. The Institution is responsible for determining what constitutes satisfactory academic results, depending on the program of study.

The Institution must then report, by November 1st, to the Ministry any Participating student who has become ineligible for the program since the Verification Form was issued or since the Institution last made a report to the Ministry, whichever is the most recent.

A Participating student should be reported as having become ineligible if they were issued a Verification Form, but are no longer registered in full-time studies at the Institution, or have not maintained satisfactory academic results.

If no Participating students at the Institution have become ineligible, the Institution must notify the Ministry by submitting a ’nil’ report.

4.4 For the purpose of the report in section 4.3, a Participating student also includes any student who was issued a Verification Form by another Participating institution and who has since transferred to the Institution, provided the former institution has informed the latter of the transfer through a Transfer of Verification Form.

4.5 At the request of a Participating student who is transferring to another Participating institution, the Institution will complete a Transfer Verification Form and forward that form directly to the Participating student’s destination institution.

4.6 The Institution is required to continue to fulfil its reporting requirements for Participating students as outlined in paragraph 4.3 even in the event that the MOU is terminated by either of the parties.

5. Protection of personal information

5.1

  1. All collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of personal information under this MOU will be in conformity with the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. F.51, as amended)
  2. For this purpose, the parties undertake specifically to:
    1. collect only such personal information as is required to administer the Program;
    2. limit use and disclosure of personal information to the information required to carry out the Program;
    3. take appropriate action to ensure that
      • only persons so authorized by the parties, or by CIC with respect to the responsibilities of CIC in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between CIC and the Ministry, may have access to the personal information collected or shared pursuant to this MOU, and;
      • shared personal information is protected during communication or transmittal;
    4. take reasonable security measures to ensure the physical integrity of locations where collected and shared personal information is stored and that the confidential nature of that information is thereby guaranteed during use, retention and disposal; and
    5. inform the other party of any failure to protect the confidentiality of personal information on its part, on the part of its employees, or on the part of persons working on the Program.

6. Designated representatives

6.1 Each party designates a representative to respond to and follow up on all questions concerning this MOU.

  1. For the Ministry, the designated representative is:
    [Address including telephone]
  2. For the Institution, the designated representative is:
    [Address including telephone]

6.2 The Ministry and the Institution shall update each other in a timely manner of any change of representative.

6.3 The designated representative for the Institution may be asked to represent the Participating institutions on an advisory committee as per article 4 of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between CIC and the Ministry.

7. Start date and duration

7.1 This MOU is effective on ____________, 2005, and remains in effect, subject to article 7.3, as long as the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between the CIC and the Ministry is in effect.

7.2 In the event of amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between CIC and the Ministry, this MOU shall also be amended as required.

7.3 Notwithstanding the foregoing, a party may terminate this MOU at any time by written notice to the other party, as early as possible and not less than 30 days prior to termination, stating the effective date of that termination.

7.4 Notwithstanding the termination of the Program at the institution, Participating students would be able to continue working until the end of the validity period of their work permit, and the institution would be required to continue to report as set out in section 5.0 of the Guide in respect of Participating students whose work permits have not yet expired, until the validity period of their work permit ends.

7.5 In the event of termination of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students between CIC and the Ministry, the Institution must stop issuing students the Verification Form as soon as notice of this termination is received from the Ministry.

Ministry

_______________________
by (name of signatory)

[Institution],

_______________________
by (name of signatory)

Signed at ____________________, this _____ day of _______________, 2005.

 
 
 
Date Modified: