Friday, September 14th, 2012
Ten years ago, Canadian visa officers overseas whispered, “it’s okay if the student graduates and stays in Canada. We just can’t say it out loud.” My how times have changed.
Recently the manager of one of Canada’s biggest missions abroad brought those whispers to an unprecedented audible level. The manager told a gathering of Canadian university and college representatives: “No one will be refused from this office because they want to stay on and work and live in Canada.”
For years, the Canadian government was well back of the pack in the rush to recruit international students. But in recent times, new regulations governing off-campus work, permits for employment after graduation, and fast-tracking permanent resident applications for graduates of Canadian institutions – have the governments (Federal and Provincial) actually out in front of many of Canada’s public education institutions, and certainly most universities, which are still stuck in a time warp when it comes to foreign student recruitment.
Previously, for years, universities have been criticizing governments on the lack of incentives and visa support for international students. Today, that argument has no basis in merit.