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 Canada student visa programme to get a massive facelift

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is planning to implement a new Trusted Institution framework to its student visa programme by 2024.This framework is a key component of a larger strategy aimed at modernising the International Student Program (ISP) operated by the IRCC.

Although specific details remain limited at this stage, according to reports, the central concept revolves around evaluating post-secondary institutions based on specific criteria that demonstrate their reliability as partners in areas including sustainable intake, identification of genuine students, compliance monitoring and reporting, and ensuring a safe and enriching experience for international students. Institutions meeting certain criteria will be designated as Trusted Institutions. While the full implications of this designation are not yet fully clarified, the IRCC has indicated that Trusted Institutions may benefit from streamlined and expedited processing for their applicants. Currently, any Canadian institution admitting international students must be classified as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), approved by their respective provincial or territorial government. International students require an acceptance letter from a DLI to apply for a Canadian study permit. The new Trusted Institution framework will effectively establish a two-tiered structure among Canada's Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), with some being recognized as Trusted Institutions and others not.

The Trusted Institution framework was initially introduced by the IRCC during a briefing in June 2023 for select peak bodies and stakeholders. International


students, including from India, are heading to Canada in droves, and there is no sign of a slowdown. A staggering 96,175 study permits were issued to Indian students during the first two quarters of 2023. This upsurge is in continuation of the momentum seen in 2022, when a total of 226,000 study permits were granted to Indian applicants. Emerged as a result of the Strategic Immigration Review and an examination of the ISP. Several concerns were identified, including the vulnerability of international students, a rapid increase in application volumes, and the need for greater diversity among the international student population.


Amidst this surge in student visas, reports have emerged about a group of Indian students facing deportation from Canada due to fraudulent documents used for college admission.

To address such concerns, Canada is intensifying its efforts to combat dishonest practices by consultants attempting to exploit the immigration system. Speaking with TOI, the High Commission of Canada in India has stressed on the importance of early application submission. The current timeline for processing study permit applications after biometric enrollment stands at seven weeks. Prospective students are urged to familiarize themselves with the IRCC's processing times to gauge the expected duration for their application processing.

To prevent prospective applicants from falling victim to fraud, IRCC provides valuable information and resources on its website. In addition, targeted campaigns are launched to raise awareness about prevailing fraud trends, as seen in the 2023 advertising campaign in India.


India has consistently been a significant source country for immigration to Canada, a trend supported by the 2021 Census data. Among immigrants living in Canada, India, the Philippines, and China ranked as the top three places of birth. This trend persists among recent immigrants as well. In 2023, up to June, a noteworthy 84,425 Indians were granted permanent residency in Canada.


Canada's immigration minister recently announced measures to encourage prospective permanent resident applications with specific skills, training, or language proficiency. Sectors such as healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transportation, agriculture, and agri-food are particularly sought after.

These announcements are likely to resonate with Indian applicants aspiring to make Canada their new home. As the enthusiasm for Canadian education and opportunities continues, the High Commission of Canada in India remains a guiding force for those wishing to embark on this journey.


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