Canada: Immigration Policy Change Widens Door for Foreign Students and Scholars

Canada, which attracts more than 130,000 foreign students a year, has eased regulations for foreign students and scholars.

Transfer between different study programs now possible
On January 31, 2005, the Canadian Government announced a new policy for foreign students enrolled in post-secondary studies in Canada. These students may now transfer between programs of study and institutions without applying for a change in the conditions of their study permit. They can also transfer between public and private institutions.

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Previously, most foreign students could transfer between the same type of educational institution (for example, university to university or college to college), but could not transfer between different types of institutions (for example, university to college).

Liberal off-campus work and post-graduation employment

The off-campus work program now allows foreign students at public post-secondary institutions to work off-campus, an extension of the previous policy that allowed foreign students only to work on-campus while being in Canada on a student visa.
Excepted from this new regulation are students who come to Canada under the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan or under the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Foreign Affairs Canada or by the Canadian International Development Agency.


As of May 16, 2005, the post-graduation work program allows certain students to work in their field of study for up to two years after their graduation. Previously, foreign students were only allowed to stay one more year after their graduation to work in Canada.

To learn more about studying in Canada and to get the details on the current immigration regulations for foreign students and scholars, please visit the website of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration.{/access}