As of June 1, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act were implemented, requiring international students in Canada (as study permit holders) to actively pursue academic studies at their designated learning institutions. York University, as one of the designated learning institutions, must provide international student compliance reports to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Non-compliant international students may face serious consequences such as government review, investigation and possible cancellation of their legal status in Canada.
York University hosts over 5,500 international students from more than 100 countries all of whom are pursuing either short-term exchange opportunities or long-term degree studies at both undergraduate and graduate levels. To promote campus awareness of the new immigration policy and support international students, York International hosted a special staff information session on June 19. More than 73 staff and faculty members from areas including admissions, the Career Centre, engineering, Glendon campus, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, the Schulich School of Business, York University English Language Institute, graduate studies and many others, attended this information session.
Philip Shea, associate director at York International, welcomed participants and introduced Diana Ning, manager of international student and scholar services at York International, who gave the presentation. Ning provided a summary of the regulation changes and highlighted the government’s objectives, such as the need to monitor bona fide international students in Canada and strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration program. Ning also focused on explaining specific government policies, such as the definition of full-time studies, the requirements for international students to work off-campus and the new procedure for international students to apply for a Social Insurance Number.
The session concluded with a question and answer period during which participants actively engaged in discussions particularly surrounding individual scenarios for each area of services. Based on a post-session survey, 98 per cent of the participants indicated that the session raised their awareness of the new immigration policy. In addition, 97 per cent found that the session also helped to improve their understanding of the work at York International and promote better inter-departmental communication.
With the Canadian government’s increasing interests in international students, this information session is only a starting point in keeping the University community informed and ensuring collaborated support for York University’s international students. York International anticipates holding similar information sessions in the future catered to both departments and students.
Any questions on these recent immigration changes should be directed to the York International office at 200 York Lanes, or contact 416-736-5177 or firstname.lastname@example.org.