Attestation Letters For International Students Sent To B.C. To Colleges And Universities

Newfoundland & Labrador Says Canada’s Study Permit Cap Ambiguous
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Attestation letters now required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have been sent by British Columbia to eligible colleges and universities so that international students can apply to study in the province.

“Our ministry is moving quickly to ensure that we mitigate negative impacts to our post-secondary institutions and that international students have every opportunity to succeed in their education in B.C.,” said Post-Secondary Education Minister Lisa Beare.

“While we’ve all agreed that the status quo wasn’t working for anyone – not for students, and not for our communities – the federal cap doesn’t take British Columbia’s unique environment into account.

“We will continue to work with the federal government to ensure any subsequent changes take British Columbia’s needs into consideration so that we can have a made-in-B.C. solution that properly responds to our shared goals.”

Immigration Minister Marc Miller capped study permit applications for this year at 606,250 in response to worries that rising numbers of temporary residents in Canada, including temporary workers and international students, have been contributing to the housing affordability crisis and the growing strain in Canadian infrastructure.

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“The intent of these Instructions is to ensure the number of study permit applications accepted into processing by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration … within the scope of the instructions does not exceed 606,250 study permit applications for one year beginning on the date of signature,” the Canada Gazette reported on Feb. 3.

Many in the post-secondary educational sector, though, have complained about the cap on study permit applications.

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)’s president and CEO, Larissa Bezo, has called the study permit cap a “blunt instrument” and expressed concern it might have serious unintended consequences.

“This is not the way we would have chosen to go about addressing these issues of sustainability,” Bezo has said.

“But if we look at this from 50,000 feet, what these policy measures do is afford us an opportunity to be more strategic and intentional to ensure a sustainable approach for the long term.”

The CBIE website describes the study permit cap as a hasty one-size-fits-all solution that may jeopardize the benefits of international education that many communities across the country experience and rapidly unravel a strong global Canadian education brand that has taken years to build.

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“A 35 per cent reduction in student visas is ultimately a signal to prospective international students around the world that Canada is closing its doors,” notes the CBIE website.

“These measures have the potential to cause irreparable harm to the EduCanada brand, and in a highly-globally competitive market, students may opt to choose other countries instead, well beyond the two-year duration of these measures.”

British Columbia’s allocation under the new rules for study permits allows for 83,000 undergraduate study permit applications.

B.C. Expects To See 16.7% Fewer New International Students

This compares to approximately 97,000 study permit applications for undergraduate programs last year. Based on previous acceptance rates, Ottawa expects this will result in 50,000 approved study permit applications in British Columbia this year, or about 16.7 per cent less than the about 60,000 approved study permits for the province last year.

British Columbia’s distribution for the provincial attestation letters will see 53 per cent go to public post-secondary institutions and the other 47 per cent to private institutions. The distribution is based on supporting public post-secondary institutions to maintain their international student programs while managing growth for this year and for future years.

“Our government is acting promptly to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible given the new federal requirements and cap on international visa applications,” said Ravi Parmar, Parliamentary Secretary for International Credentials.

“We will continue to implement the suite of actions our government recently announced to enhance post-secondary education quality and maintain and strengthen B.C.’s reputation while delivering the quality that British Columbians expect and international students deserve.”

In 2024, private institutions will receive 27 per cent fewer study permit applications than they did in last year.

Exempt from this new cap on international study permits are those international students who already have study permits and are seeking to renew them and the family member of a temporary resident who already has either a work or study permit.

Also exempt from the cap on study permits are:

  • members of the armed forces of a country under the Visiting Forces Act, including a person who has been designated as a civilian component of those armed forces;
  • officers of a foreign governments sent, under exchange agreements between Canada and one or more countries, to take up duties with a federal or provincial agency;
  • participants in sports activities or events, in Canada, either as an individual participant or as a member of a foreign-based team or Canadian amateur team;
  • employees of foreign news companies reporting on events in Canada;
  • people responsible for assisting congregations or groups in the achievement of their spiritual goals and whose main duties are to preach doctrine, perform functions related to gatherings of their congregations or groups or provide spiritual counselling.
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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.