Gov’t Makes It Easier For International Students

Government makes it easier for international students

Janet Steffenhagen
Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, April 21, 2008

VANCOUVER – The federal government is making it easier for international students to work in Canada.

As of today, those who graduate from certain Canadian post-secondary institutions will be able to obtain a work permit without having a job offer and without restrictions on the type of employment open to them, Immigration Minister Diane Finley announced.

The changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program also extend the duration of work permits to three years from the one to two years allowed previously.

“The government of Canada wants more foreign students to choose Canada and we want to help them succeed,” Finley says in a release. “Open and longer work permits provide international students with more opportunities for Canadian work experience and skills development.

“This will, in turn help make Canada a destination of choice and help us keep international students already studying in Canada.”

The changes will not only assist international students in getting work experience but will benefit Canada by responding to labour market needs, the minister says, noting that graduates will find it easier to meet the requirements to remain in Canada permanently.

Preliminary data indicates that 63,673 international students came to Canada last year, a 4.6 per cent increase over 2006.

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce applauded the minister's announcement.

“These latest changes, which will make it easier and more attractive for international students to stay and build their lives in our country, are improvements which we should all get behind,” said president John Winter.