In a continued effort to fight human smuggling and trafficking, the Canadian government is now taking aim at the student visa program.
Despite a lack of data showing any correlation between student visas and human smuggling, the government has quietly announced its intention to tighten the program rules to ensure that international students entering the country are actually attending school rather than working.
“This is a loophole being allegedly used by some criminal operations to bring potentially vulnerable young women to Canada to face exploitation,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.”We don’t have much in the way of hard data on this. It’s a concern that’s been raised and I think it’s a legitimate one, and we think this underscores the need for us to better police the program.”
The proposed crackdown would require provinces to send the federal government a list of certain post-secondary institutions that “should benefit from the student visa program” Kenney said. He also indicated that there would be more monitoring to ensure that students are actually attending the institutions bringing them into the country.
The list of credible schools will be compiled through consultations among the various levels of government as well as “stakeholder institutions.”
Students will no longer be able to enter Canada to attend programs with duration of less than six months. Their work permits will also be tightened to ensure that the jobs are school-related.
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist