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Canada’s New Portal Aims to Safeguard International Student Program by Verifying LOAs

International Student Program
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To enhance its program, for students and prevent any misuse the Canadian immigration authority has introduced a platform. This platform is specifically designed to verify the letters of acceptance (LOAs) that students submit as part of their visa applications. The LOA serves as proof that a student has been granted admission to one of Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) whichever the schools in the country for accepting international students program.

The introduction of this marks a significant milestone in the application process, for Canadian study permits. As stated by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) this initiative aims to safeguard students and maintain the integrity of the International Student Program.

Under the new system, DLIs will be responsible for verifying LOAs submitted by students via the online portal, with access granted solely to their respective IRCC representatives. If a DLI fails to validate an LOA within 10 calendar days or confirms it as fraudulent, the student visa application will be cancelled and returned, along with any processing fees paid by the applicant.

This development follows a high-profile case involving 700 Indian students who nearly faced deportation after being deceived by a fraudulent immigration consultant who provided fake admission acceptance letters. The alleged instigator, Indian agent Brijesh Mishra, is currently imprisoned in Canada and awaits trial on multiple charges including counselling misrepresentation, misrepresentation, and unauthorized representation or advice for consideration.

Canada has become a choice, for students from around the world. In 2022 an impressive number of 551,405 students from 184 countries chose Canada as their educational destination. Moreover, between January and June 2023 the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued than 280,000 study permits to students – a remarkable increase of 77% compared to the same period in the previous year.

January 1st, 2024 Canadian authorities will be implementing measures to ensure the well-being of incoming international students. One such measure includes doubling the requirement, for cost-of-living expenses.

Significant Changes for International Students Program in 2024

Canada’s international student program is gearing up for a transformation in the year 2024. Several significant alterations are scheduled to impact international students throughout the year. Notably, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to:

  1. Raise the living expenses requirement for students by an extra $10,000 CAD;
  2. Reevaluate the 20-hour work limit for international students;
  3. Cease the measure that allows international students to count time spent abroad towards their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP); and
  4. Implement new modifications to the PGWP program.

Moreover, IRCC aims to create a stronger link between international student enrolment and PGWP issuance with labor market demands and demographic needs. All in all, 2024 will be a year of considerable change as Canada prepares to accommodate nearly one million international students.

The Trusted Institutions Framework: An Innovative Proposal

IRCC recently proposed a novel framework for Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) known as the “Trusted Institutions Framework”. The new policy intends to establish a two-tiered system for granting study permits, similar to the one discussed earlier.

Furthermore, this framework would offer numerous advantages to recognized trusted institutions, including expedited study permit processing. Although there is limited information about how this proposal will function currently, its implementation is anticipated in the Fall of 2024.

Throughout this year, IRCC has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to preserving the integrity of the international student program. As part of this dedication, IRCC may consider limiting student visa numbers to ensure DLIs can provide sufficient support for an exceptional academic experience for international students.

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