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Canada’s New PM Pledges to Remove Barriers for International Students

“It’s an exciting development certainly,” Jennifer Humphries, vice-president, membership, public policy and communications at the Canadian Bureau for International Education, told PIE News.

Canada’S New PM Pledges To Remove Barriers For International Students

“PM Designate Trudeau’s party platform indicated a number of reviews and changes that would impact international students.”

Amongst Trudeau’s visa reform pledges was the promise to make the path to Canadian citizenship easier for international students and to “remove barriers” affecting the applications of international students applying through the Canadian Experience programme.

The Canadian government requires applicants to have lived in Canada for a minimum of four of the six years before being eligible to apply for citizenship with time spent in the country as a student not being considered part of the minimum four year temporary residency.

More of the Liberal’s election promises could positively affect the education sector, stated Randall Martin, executive director of the British Columbia Council for International Education, in an interview with PIE, referencing Trudeau’s promises, a return to much-vaunted Canadian values on the world stage including multilateralism, positive engagement with world bodies, diplomacy, equitable immigration policies and support for refugees.

“I am certainly hopeful that they will act on the promise that time spent as a student in Canada will count towards permanent residence,” Geoff Wilmshurst, director of Camosun International at Camosun College in Victoria, BC, told The PIE News. “This kind of change would be helpful for both the Express Entry requirements and the Canada Experience Class.”

“It is early days, however, and there will likely be a good deal of pushing and pulling on immigration priorities, including the refugee file, for the Liberals to consider.”

It is believed that any changes in policy will be shaped by the new cabinet, which will be appointed after Trudeau is officially sworn in next week, and Martin notes that many of the newly elected MPs are “largely untested”.

Meanwhile, Humpries at CBIE expects that new policies “will take some time to materialise”.
“I think it is too early to tell what will happen,” added Martin, but added that “the mood in the country is one of optimism in many sectors”.

“As apparently the only world leader with a tattoo and with a promise to legalise marijuana, his words may resonate with mobile young people a bit more than those of the outgoing government,” told PIE News.

Source: Reuters and PIE News

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