“Modernizing Canada’s Student Visa with Trusted Institutions”


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is moving forward with plans to introduce a new Trusted Institution framework by 2024 as part of its efforts to modernize the International Student Program (ISP). Under this framework, post-secondary institutions will be evaluated against criteria related to sustainable intake, identifying genuine students, monitoring compliance, and providing a safe and enriching experience for international students. Institutions meeting the set criteria will be designated as Trusted Institutions, which might come with benefits like expedited processing for their applicants.

Currently, Canadian institutions receiving international students must be classified as Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), approved by their provincial or territorial government. The new framework will create a two-tiered structure among DLIs, where Trusted Institutions will receive certain facilitations from IRCC.

The Trusted Institution framework emerged from a review of the ISP that highlighted concerns about student vulnerability, high application volumes, and the need for diversification. The framework will rely on data from IRCC and DLIs, including retention rates, on-time program completion, revenue from international tuitions, student support services, housing availability, and more.

After a pilot exercise involving selected institutions, IRCC plans to refine the data-gathering survey and make it available to all DLIs in the fall of 2023. The analysis will take place through the spring of 2024, leading to the establishment of initial Trusted Institution designations.

The introduction of this framework reflects IRCC’s ongoing efforts to ensure the well-being, quality, and success of international students in Canada while addressing concerns about exploitation and mistreatment.

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