The Canadian government has unveiled a new regulation applicable to Nigerians and other individuals relocating to the country as international students, All Nigeria Latest News reports.

The government, in an official statement on its website, has declared that these changes are designed to safeguard students from the increasing instances of fraud. This decision comes after an investigation in the summer, which scrutinized over 100 cases involving counterfeit admission letters.

Canada continues to be a preferred destination for Nigerians seeking opportunities for study and work abroad.

In a statement from Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller on December 1, 2023, all post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLI) will need to verify each applicant’s letter of acceptance with the immigration department through a new verification process before issuing a study permit..

Canada is in the process of establishing a system that rewards post-secondary learning institutions with elevated standards for services, support, and outcomes for international students. This initiative is anticipated to be implemented in time for the upcoming fall semester, prioritizing the processing of study permits for applicants to these institutions.

“We are also assessing criteria for post-graduation work permits and, in the coming months, will begin introducing changes that will benefit Canadian employers across the country and help meet regional and Francophone immigration goals,” the immigration department said in a statement.

Around 700 international students, most of them from Punjab, are facing deportation after they were allegedly defrauded by dubious institutes in Canada.

“International students who have been defrauded by a crooked consultant should not be punished with deportation and inadmissibility based on misrepresentation. They have invested everything they have for a better future … They work hard, they study hard and under very difficult conditions. They are under enormous strain and their lives are in limbo,” MP Jenny Kwan, who represents the New Democratic Party led by Indo-Canadian Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal had said.

In its statement, the immigration department stated that Canada is a top destination of choice for international students.
“While international students have contributed to life on campuses across the country, they have also experienced some serious challenges navigating Canada’s International Student Programme,” the department said, adding that the new rules are aimed at “better protecting genuine students from fraud”.

“Through these measures, we are taking action against nefarious actors who have preyed on genuine students for financial gain by identifying every fraudulent letter of acceptance soon after it is submitted. Institutions that demonstrate strong support for international students will be recognised and their applicants will move to the front of the line for processing, and we will be able to better select and retain those students that are best suited to meet the needs of Canada’s economy and immigration goals. These important reforms mark the initial changes identified through the review of the International Student Program, as well as the broader engagement initiative, An Immigration System for Canada’s Future,” it stated.

International education accounts for more than $22 billion in economic activity annually, greater than Canada’s exports of auto parts, lumber or aircraft, and supports more than 2,00,000 jobs in Canada.

The temporary drop in international students in 2020 resulted in a loss of more than $7 billion for Canada’s gross domestic product that year.

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