Quebec announced they will no longer be issuing post-graduate work permits to international graduates from unsubsidized private colleges as of September 1st, 2023. The Quebec government is implementing these changes in response to a rise in unscrupulous practices from many private colleges in the province.
The number of international students coming to Canada continues to grow. In 2021, Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued close to 450,000 new study permits; this was the highest number of new permits IRCC has ever recorded issuing in a single year.
The Canadian Government increasingly views international students as a promising source of labour supply. For this reason, Canada offers numerous initiatives to retain international students permanently. Many provinces also offer incentives to recruit international students in hopes that they will settle permanently after graduation.
The ease at which international graduates can immigrate permanently to Canada has led to a rise in exploitation in the private school sector. This has particularly become an issue in the province of Quebec. Over the last couple of years, many Quebec private schools have come under scrutiny for taking advantage of international students.
Several private colleges in Quebec have been accused of gouging tuition fees and being more concerned with profit than providing quality education. A 2021 report by Quebec’s Ministry of Higher Education uncovered failings around recruitment, management, and teaching conditions.
Quebec is implementing these new measures with the goal of protecting the integrity of the international student program. The changes will also work to protect the students impacted by the shortcomings of these private colleges.
These new measures will only allow specific programs in private colleges to be eligible for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP).
IRCC’s webpage to verify if a school is registered as a Designated Learning Institute has already been updated with a list of programs that are eligible for a PGWP after September 1st, 2023.
This update only applies to Quebec. However, other provinces have already had similar measures implemented for many years.
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