Canada releases designated institution list

12 June, 2014

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has released a list of institutions that are designated to accept international students on student visas under new rules that came into effect on June 1.


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The designated institution list on the CIC website allows agents or students to search for institutions by province, or by searching for the institution name or city.

Under the new system, students applying for a student visa will need a letter of acceptance from a designated institution, and will need to include the designated learning number of the institution on their visa application form.

The designation change is one of a raft of major changes to the International Student Program (ISP) that came into effect last week, as recently outlined in a special feature in Study Travel Magazine.

Institutions that are not designated by their provincial government will still be able to host international students on courses less than six months in duration.

All primary and secondary schools in Canada are automatically designated and do not appear on the list.

Meanwhile, the province of British Columbia hosted a record number of international students in 2012-13, with a 20 per cent increase compared with 2009-10, according to figures released by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education.

The 112,800 international students in 2012-13 contributed CAN$2.3 billion (US$2.1 billion) to the local economy on tuition, accommodation and other living expenses, a 28 per cent increase compared with three years earlier.

“British Columbia is a world-class destination for tens of thousands of international students who bring economic, cultural and social benefits,” said Advanced Education Minister, Amrik Virk. “This growth in international students is exciting for the education sector and the province. Our government is on target to meet its ambitious commitment to increase the number of international students by 50 per cent by 2016.”

According to the BC data, there have been significant increases in students from India (up 188 per cent), China (68 per cent) and Brazil (65 per cent) over the three-year period.

The BC government released an International Education Strategy in May 2012, which promoted the two-way flow of students in and out of the province.

In other Canadian news, the immigration department of Nova Scotia province has announced that international graduates from a Canadian college or university with a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer will be able to apply for permanent residency through the provincial nominee programme.

Nova Scotia Immigration Minister, Lena Diab, said not enough had been done until now to help international students stay and pursue a career in Nova Scotia. “International graduates are educated, they’ve made friends, they know the language, and they’re already familiar with all the great things Nova Scotia has to offer,” said Ms. Diab. “Over the past year, there hasn’t been a provincial door open to help them stay. Today, that changes.”

Diab added, “We are grateful for the support of the many employers, business organisations, connector programmes, communities and people across Nova Scotia who work to recruit and retain international graduates who will help enhance our economy and our culture.”

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