New Guidelines on Study Permit Applications

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“New procedures affects student entering Canada pursue pathway programs”

On July 13, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) changed its rules for certain study permit applications including contingent admissions through what are known as pathway programs. Under the new system, visa officers are told to issue a Canadian study permit just for the time of the understudy’s prerequisite studies, which might be a dialect course. If and when the understudy effectively finishes these studies, he or she then should apply for a further study permit to cover the time of his or her arranged post-secondary academic or technical program. These rules are a departure from the past practice, which saw visa officers issue a solitary study permit for the entire term of both programs.

A normal pathway program course will involve understudies from abroad enrolling in a dialect course in Canada for a period of under one year. This essential course might be intended to help understudies achieve the English or French language prerequisites of the main Designated Learning Institution (DLI), which might be a college or university.

An example of this is an international student who wishes to do a post-secondary degree in Canada. After some exploration, she identifies the course she wishes to enroll in, however, to gain confirmation, she needs to demonstrate her linguistic competence, generally through a test like IELTS or CAEL. Frequently, a dialect course is required so as to accomplish the objective level. So the student distinguishes a language school in Canada that can help her accomplish her scholarly goals. Already for such a situation, a solitary study permit was issued for both the language school bit and the ensuing degree portion of the understudy’s time spent studying in Canada. With the change, be that as it may, only a single permit will be issued for the prerequisite course.

The Reason for The Change

As per the IRCC update, a matter that has been raised by visa officers is that an understudy may not effectively finish his or her prerequisite project, but rather will keep on hold a substantial study permit permitting him or her to work. The issuance of a long-term study permit for two separate projects has likewise affected consistence reporting, this refers to the procedure by which IRCC acquires data on international understudies who are effectively pursuing their studies.


“I think they [IRCC] have misunderstood the situation and the impact that it could have . . . There are so many questions that arise from this new directive that it’s clear that the system doesn’t work,” Gonzalo Peralta Executive Director of Languages Canada said, this organization’s member institutions receive around 130 000 international language students per year.

“They’re saying they’re not changing the regulation, they’re just applying an interpretation based on their internal observations on how some of the visa officers are processing, and they have concerns. They have concerns about program integrity and making sure that students are actually here to study. We fully understand that, but from where we sit it really does need some consultation because it has a direct impact on thousands of students.”

“The application of the IRCC policies varies from market to market. The visa officers have 100% discretion on what they do, they are the sole deciders. It’s very difficult for a student from China, for example, to get a visa to come to one of our private sector members [schools/institutions]. It’s easier for them to get visas to come to one of our public sector members and study language as part of a pathway program,” Peralta adds. “Now students have to renew their study permit more often, and they have to do so after you finish a certain portion of the pathway program, so even our public sector members will be penalized.”

Another illustration could be an international student who wishes to pursue a four-year university degree in Canada. He or she is not familiar with English, but rather completes a prerequisite course and effectively passes an IELTS test since he or she has restrictive admission to the degree program. With the new strategy, there is an additional progression: the understudy must apply for another study permit, a procedure that takes around five weeks.

Handling the New Procedures

“Essentially what is happening is students, agents, and institutions are paying for all the issues that are happening with the system.  If you’re an international student and you don’t know some aspect of Canadian immigration law, well good luck to you. It’s your responsibility. And by the way, if anything goes wrong you’re out of the country. So there’s an essential fundamental problem here which is really structural,” Peralta states.

At last, a huge number of people might be affected by this change. What’s more, around another 25,000 have effectively expressed their goal of pursuing further post-secondary studies in Canada. As for the remainder, it is often the case that language understudies enter Canada without the intent of entering further studies, yet they alter their mind once they arrive and start to completely value the favorable circumstances that living and studying in Canada can offer.

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