Preparing for IRCC Reforms

October 31, 2023

What the announcements mean for students and DLIs, and how BorderPass can clear pathways toward becoming a recognized institution

Minister Marc Miller’s announcements on October 27 reflect the IRCC’s commitment to addressing fraud in international education while keeping the interests of international students at the forefront.

Central to the upcoming reforms is a recognized institution model that will establish a framework for “punishing the bad actors” while “rewarding the good actors,” safeguarding the well-being of international students and ensuring that Canada remains an attractive destination for quality education.

“International students are talented, bright and deserving of a positive experience as they pursue their studies in Canada. We will continue to improve Canada’s International Student Program by protecting students and weeding out those who try to take advantage of them.”

— The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister, IRCC

Balancing Responsible Growth, Student Protection, and Canada’s Future

Verifying letters of acceptance—a key benefit of using BorderPass—will begin later this year with the IRCC. This will help protect international students from fraud, where some have arrived at the doorstep of institutions lacking valid admission. An IRCC task force also found instances where individuals falsely posed as students to enter Canada, further highlighting the need for reform.

However Minister Miller emphasized that “international students are not the problem,” but are indeed an essential component of economic development. In addition to bringing new ideas, research, and ways of learning to Canada, international students contribute well over $20 billion to Canada's GDP annually.

“International students are are not the problem. They come here with hopes and dreams, and they are essential to building this country...”

— The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister, IRCC

As such, caps on immigration have been rejected by the IRCC as a “simple formula” that wouldn’t address the complexities of responsible growth, instead resulting in “long-term pain.” Underscoring the latter point: over 90% of net entry to Canada’s labour force is driven by immigration.

The Minister did acknowledge a need for changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, which hasn’t been reviewed in over a decade. Specifically, he aims to incentivize trade programs that are in high demand to address labor shortages in these sectors. He also cautioned that being a student shouldn't guarantee permanent residency, and will shift the ministry’s focus to individuals who genuinely wish to remain in the country; bringing a “level of humanity” to the immigration process.

The ministry’s adoption of new processing technology should expedite visa processing times while maintaining human oversight on the final determination, ensuring reliability and accuracy.

The Recognized Institution Model

Minister Miller re-introduced a model for recognizing institutions that meet a set of standards built around trust. While the specifics are still under development, he referenced eight to ten “indicators” that are under consideration for the model, including:

  • The level of student support offered
  • Adequacy of student housing
  • Commitment to student mental health and well-being

BorderPass' platform provides comprehensive support for DLIs to meet and exceed new reporting and student support requirements being proposed by the IRCC. BorderPass’ solution assists institutions in complying with reforms, verifying LoAs, and facilitating a transparent and supportive environment for international students.

BorderPass also empowers students to make informed decisions, ensuring they are competitive candidates for Express Entry and other immigration pathways. And insights from the platform can help DLIs tailor study programs to in-demand employment sectors.

Learn how BorderPass can help

As Minister Marc Miller takes bold steps to reshape Canada's international student program, BorderPass stands ready to support DLIs in implementing these reforms and enhancing the experiences of international students.

Chat with us today to learn how.

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