Update on Int'l students working off-campus
Friday, December 2, 20057 Comments
“I have recently learned that the Commons Immigration Committee voted against the proposal put forward by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to expend resources necessary to implement improvements to the Federal-Ontario Immigration Agreement including $10 million for measures to move forward to make promised changes to the government’s program for off campus work permits for international students. I am extremely disappointed that a program that has been promised has been delayed in this manner.
As an international student, I can attest that these improvements are needed urgently to provide support for international students attending universities and colleges. The ability for international students to work while undertaking their studies will attract more international students to Canadian institutions and provide opportunities for these students to experience the Canadian labour market and gain a wider understanding of Canadian society. The presence of international students in Canadian postsecondary institutions also enriches the learning experience for domestic students who have the opportunity to be exposed to individuals with a broader range of experiences and perspectives.
The administration at the University of Guelph are ready to implement this program, and the Ontario government has worked with dispatch to achieve the necessary agreement to allow the off-campus work permit program to be accessed by international students studying at Ontario institutions. International students studying in Ontario await the promised changes eagerly and must not be disappointed if the goals of the CIC initiative are to be served.
I call upon each of you to provide the leadership necessary to remove the obstacles to progress on this matter and to do so prior to a federal election. There is absolutely no value in failing to deliver on the commitments made to provide off-campus work experience for international students studying in Ontario. Failure to act swiftly will undermine this initiative, damaging the nation’s reputation with international students studying in Ontario and seriously compromising the ability to continue to recruit them to study in Canada.”
International students should understand how this reflects their opportunities in Canada. To help speed up the process, students are being urged to send out letters to the government to show that this is a significant issue and that agreement is needed. However, now that the national government is not technically in existence, what can international students do about this issue but sit and wait for few more weeks? Months? To keep hoping that this issue will be resolved and will come to some agreement that will benefit students and the country.