The information below may be of specific use to educational institutions and organizations.
Partners in the International Student Program
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recognizes that the key to an effective and dynamic international student program is developing and maintaining strong partnerships with provincial educational authorities, institutions and organizations. For this reason CIC created the Advisory Committee on International Students and Immigration to bring together essential stakeholders in international education. In addition, CIC also works closely with other government departments, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), to develop coordinated strategies and promote international marketing efforts led by DFATD.
The Partner Portal is available to educational institutions, provinces and territories that are participating in the Off-Campus Work Permit Program. From the Partner Portal, users will be able to access the Electronic Notification System (ENS).
The Quick Start Guide provides step-by-step instructions for designated institutional representatives on how to obtain a personal identification number in order to access ENS.
Keep up to date on CIC policies and procedures
Find out the most recent changes to CIC policy and procedures by consulting the published operational bulletins, which are updated regularly.
CIC operational manuals are available online and are updated periodically. They detail how CIC processes all types of applications, including study permits (Overseas Processing (OP) Manual 12 (PDF, 350 KB)).
Information is also available about the concept of dual intent and how it is dealt with in the study permit process.
Work and immigration opportunities for students
International students and their spouses may be eligible to work in Canada during and after their studies through a number of work permit programs. Working in Canada can provide a source of income while they study, give them valuable work experience, help them make business contacts for the future, and even allow them to immigrate after their graduation.
If international students have work experience in Canada through work permit options available to graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions, they could qualify for permanent resident status in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class. This video explains how it works.
International students wishing to do volunteer work may require a work permit and an HRSDC confirmation. Read about what constitutes work and volunteer work. For guidelines regarding co-ops and internships, refer to section 5.10 of OP12 (PDF, 350 KB) and section 5.38 of FW 1 (PDF, 1.46 KB).
The PhD Eligibility Stream
In November 2011, CIC announced a new initiative aimed at boosting Canadian innovation and helping Canada’s educational institutions attract and retain talented scholars at the doctoral level.
As of November 5, 2011, international PhD students who wish to become permanent residents of Canada have been able to submit applications for processing as Federal Skilled Workers.
To be eligible under the new stream, which is capped at 1,000 applications per year, applicants must have completed at least two years of study toward the attainment of a PhD and remain in good academic standing at a provincially recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada. Foreign nationals who have graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the preceding 12 months are also eligible. Note that all applicants must also meet the eligibility requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
This initiative will help Canada and Canadian universities to attract and retain top talent in a global economy. While PhD holders make up a small proportion of the population, they play a unique and integral role in our nation’s economic health. Doctoral graduates drive research, encourage innovation and pass on their knowledge through teaching.
Be aware of fraud
To reduce the incidence of fraud in applications and to add a deterrent to commit fraud, it is recommended that educational institutions not provide financial rewards to education agents for the submission of applications or study permit issuance alone. Rather, they are encouraged to provide financial rewards to agents only for students who are still in attendance after the fee refund date at their institution has passed.
Tuition fee refunds should be provided when appropriately justified and following the provincial or territorial regulations to which students are subject.
If you become aware of any study permit fraud, report it.
Share best practices
Educational institutions are invited to share with their agents the following best practices in order to protect students, to ensure the highest possible success rate, and to avoid delays in the processing of applications:
- Review the study permit and visa requirements and, if applicable, specific requirements from the appropriate CIC office’s website; ensure completeness of applications and submit all required documents.
- Apply early and be aware of processing times in Canada and at visa offices.
- Refrain from sending case status requests until after the processing times have been reached.
- Share all communications from institutions and CIC with clients.
- Ensure your students understand the “Use of representative (PDF, 36 KB)” form (IMM 5476) and the responsibilities and obligations required of third-party representatives.
- Be clear about additional service fees.
- Always act in the best interest of the student.
- Where a group of students will enter the same program in Canada, submit the applications together in a group submission. It can significantly reduce the amount of clerical work required in our office. Program description details (see above) need only be included once as part of a covering package.
Education agents should be aware that Bill C-35: An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act affects student recruitment activities. Education agents who, for example, provide advice exclusively related to educational matters or services, such as directing someone to the CIC website for information on immigration programs or to access immigration application forms, will continue to be able to do so. However, people who previously provided paid advice on immigration matters related to student recruitment—such as applying for a study permit, a re—entry visa or a status extension—without being recognized as an authorized immigration representative, will need to either seek authorization or refer relevant cases to an authorized representative who is:
- A member in good standing of the law society of a province or territory, including paralegals and students-at-law, if they act under the supervision of a lawyer or a notary in Quebec; or
- A member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; or
- A member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
A limited number of organizations that have an agreement with the Government of Canada—such as visa application centres—can provide services to assist people with an application under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, they are only authorized to provide the services specified in their agreement or arrangement.
Get the right documents from minor students
Use these guidelines to determine the immigration documents that foreign students who are minors should have when applying to your school.
Find course material
CIC’s Teachers and Youth Web Corner provides teachers across the country with educational tools regarding citizenship, Canadian identity, multiculturalism and immigration while giving youth a fun path to learning.