Ways to fast track your Canadian study permits application

5 ways to fast track your Canadian study permits application

Ways to fast track your Canadian study permits application

Ways to fast track your Canadian study permits application

Moving to a new country to study can be exciting — and stressful!  While you may have made most of your planning ahead of time, not all situations are predictable.

Every year Canada welcomes thousands of international students pursuing their post-secondary studies in a Canadian university, college, language school or any other learning institution that accepts students from around the world.

The process of applying for a Canadian study permit, also known as a student visa, can be made smoother and quicker if you take into consideration the following:

  1. Submit your application online or via a Visa Application Centre (VAC)

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recommends that you consult a local VAC when preparing your application for a study permit. VACs can help ensure your application is complete and meets all of IRCC’s requirements.

Here are ways VACs can be beneficial to you:

  • Address your concerns and questions in your local language.
  • Offer a tracking service for your application.
  • Help transfer your documents and personal information securely.
  • Collect biometrics if required.
  • For a list of available VACs by country, consult this list.
  1. Submit your application early

IRCC advises that you send your application for a study permit as early as possible, and at least four to six months before the start of your classes.

A useful tool you can use to find out the average processing time for a study permit based on where you are applying from is the Canada Immigration processing tool.

  1. Get your medical exam and your police clearance as soon as you can

Canada requires some prospective students from overseas to undergo a medical examination. This requirement depends on the length of stay and your current country of residence.

For example, if you plan on staying in Canada for longer than six months you will be required to present medical exam results. If you resided or stayed in any of the following countries for six or more months prior to coming to Canada, you will need a medical exam.

It is important to note that it is not mandatory to have your exam results when submitting your study permit application. However, you can avoid delays by getting your medical examination done and submitting the results along with your application.

IRCC may expect a police certificate from potential international students. If you know you will need a police certificate, it is best to obtain one as early possible.

  1. Ensure that you have submitted all the necessary documents and that all pages have been completed accurately and legibly

Your application will be returned if the information provided is unclear, which can result in further delays. It is highly recommended to use the document checklist provided by IRCC along with the study permit application kit.

Get certified translations in either official languages, English or French, of all the documents provided with the application, such as transcripts, police certificates, and any other official documents.

  1. Pay all the required fees on time

IRCC warns that if you do not pay the required fees by the required time, it may result in application processing delays or may impact the approval of your study permit application.

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Canada’s Immigration Minister telling ‘We want more international students to stay’

Canada’s Immigration Minister Hussen telling ‘We want more international students to stay’

Canada’s Immigration Minister Hussen telling ‘We want more international students to stay’

Canada’s Immigration Minister Hussen telling ‘We want more international students to stay’

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, says the Government of Canada wants international students to become permanent residents in Canada.

Hussen told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that helping international students stay in Canada is a key facet of Canada’s new multi-year immigration levels plan for 2018-2020.

“Part of our push for multi-year planning is to have more space for international students and other skilled individuals who would like to live in Canada,” Hussen said.

Deputy Immigration Minister Marta Morgan told the committee that there are currently a number of pathways for students to become permanent residents either by applying through the federal Express Entry selection system or by taking advantage of Provincial Nominee Programs, which are designed to meet labour market needs.

Committee member Randeep Sarai, a Liberal Member of Parliament from Surrey, British Columbia, asked Hussen to clarify whether the government’s multi-year immigration levels plan accounted for the prospective increase the number of international students applying for permanent residence.

The minister confirmed that such an increase was factored into the plan’s admission targets for the next three years.

International students an Express Entry priority

The committee also considered the government’s reasons for its November 2016 changes to the Express Entry system’s Comprehensive Ranking System that reduced the number of points it awards for a job offer from 600 to between 50 and 200 points.

At the same time, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduced new points for Canadian study experience.

Level of education Additional CRS points
One- or two-year post-secondary program 15
Post-secondary program of three years or more, or Master’s, Doctoral, or eligible entry-to-practice professional degree 30

One of the reasons offered for these changes was the fact 600 points for a job offer disadvantaged international students despite their typically higher scores in so-called human capital factors like age, education and language proficiency.

A recent IRCC report showed that the change to job offer points is putting greater emphasis on such factors, which it said are “strongly correlated to higher earning potential.”

The study also revealed that the proportion of former international students invited to apply for permanent residence from the Express Entry pool increased by 10 percent in the first six months after it introduced the additional Canadian study experience points.

Provincial Nominee Programs offer unique international graduate streams

Canada’s provinces also continue to tailor their programs to better serve recent international graduates and help facilitate their pathway to permanent immigration.

In prime study destination provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, there are provincial programs that offer unique options for international graduates that do not require a job offer to apply, such as Ontario’s Masters and Ph.D. Graduate Streams and BC’s Express Entry: International Post-Graduate category.

Also, Canada’s Atlantic Provinces offer pathways to permanent settlement for international students. The regional Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, introduced last year, also offers advantages to graduates and employers alike.

As of July 2017, the federal government reported that 600 Atlantic employers had expressed interest in the program.

In its multi-year immigration levels plan, the Canadian government will double the annual allocation for the AIPP every year from 2018 to 2020.

Canadian Citizenship has also been made more accessible to international students through changes that now allow former students to count the time spent in Canada on a temporary visa, such as a study permit.

All evidence points to the Canadian government’s continued support of pathways to permanent immigration for talented and valuable graduates from around the world.

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Government action on rule that rejects immigrants on medical grounds

Government action on rule that rejects immigrants on medical grounds expected in April

Government action on rule that rejects immigrants on medical grounds expected in April

Government action on rule that rejects immigrants on medical grounds expected in April

Up to 1,000 applications, a year affected by controversial ‘excessive demand’ policy

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, says his department’s action plan for addressing a controversial policy that refuses immigrants deemed likely to cause an “excessive demand” on the country’s health-care system will be released in April.

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration has recommended abolishing the “excessive demand” rules in Section 38 1(C) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which it says is at odds with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

That recommendation was part of a standing committee report on medical inadmissibility rules for immigrants that were tabled on December 12. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada had 120 days to issue its response.

In an appearance before that committee yesterday, Hussen reiterated his belief that the rules need to change.

“I have been very clear that this policy is out of step with Canadian values on accommodating people with disabilities,” Hussen said.

The minister promised that his department will respond to the committee’s recommendations by April 12.

Delay criticized

That answer didn’t satisfy committee member Jenny Kwan, who asked Hussen why it’s taking Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) so long to take action.

“The minister has been studying this issue since 2016, people’s lives are on hold because of that,” Kwan said.

To emphasize her point, Kwan cited recent examples of permanent residence applications that had been turned down because of the rule and said there are about 1,000 such cases across Canada.

“Why can’t we have a policy change that will affect the lives of these individuals now,” Kwan asked.

Hussen contended that IRCC has been consulting with Canada’s provinces about the best way to move forward on the contentious clause, which he noted has been in place for 40 years.

“I am the minister who has publicly said that we will change this policy because it is out of step with Canadian values on the inclusion of persons with disabilities and how we do that is equally important because this affects provincial health and social service budgets,” Hussen said. “We have to do it in line with what the provinces are willing to do.”

Under the Canadian Constitution, provincial and territorial governments are generally responsible for delivering health and other social services to their residents.

What is excessive demand?

Under Section 38 1 (C) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a prospective immigrant can be ruled inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition “might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services.”

Excessive demand is defined as one “for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services” over a five or 10-year period, or which would affect existing wait times for health and social services in Canada.

In 2017, the cost threshold for a demand to be considered excessive was $6,655 per year or $33,275 over five years.

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