02 October 2008

Report: Canada's student visa program too relaxed

A new report from the Canadian government shows that the Canadian student visa program is not strict enough in ensuring overseas students attend classes, reports the Vancouver Sun.

The internal governmental report claims that even if overseas students do not attend classes at university, their Canadian visa will not be revoked. 

"There is no requirement for [foreign] students to actually attend classes despite the fact they are in Canada to study," the report said. "Students must only show the 'intent' to study in Canada."

The review also noted that the Australian student visa program and the United States overseas student scheme both monitor their international students to ensure they meet the requirements of the student visa or face deportation.

The report also said the UK, US, Australia and France maintain their commitment to providing world-class student visa programs.

"Other ... countries are more focused on ensuring that institutions adhere to strict guidelines focused on maintaining the integrity of international student programs," the report said.

Last month the Canadian Department of Immigration and Citizenship announced the details of the proposed Canadian Experience Class, which helps temporary foreign workers and foreign student graduates get residency visas in Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class will help temporary foreign workers and foreign students to use their managerial, professional, technical or trade work experience as points towards their applications for residency and citizenship. 

The Minister is hoping that the changes will encourage more overseas students to stay in Canada permanently.

"International students and skilled workers would be more likely to choose Canada if they knew their time in Canada and contribution to Canadian society would assist in their eligibility to apply to stay permanently."

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for Canada visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Canadian Visa Bureau.

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