FOREIGN STUDENTS IN CANADA: THE IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE FROM START TO FINISH
Anderson Steele, Susan
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The purpose of this project is to reveal the practical issues that arose for foreign students in Canada as they attempted to maintain their immigration documents in compliance with prescribed procedures, and to fully access the opportunities afforded by the regulations. The project covers the period ending in 2007 and is based on my observations as an international student advisor who has worked in the profession for many years. First, I review Canadian federal government news releases, and educational and business lobby statements regarding the value of foreign students to Canada. Second, I describe the Canadian federal government regulations that defined the processes that applicants were required to use to gain entrance to Canada and in order to maintain their documents throughout their period of study. Third, I describe the practical considerations students undertook in order to comply with the regulations concerning study and in opting to take advantage of newly-emerging work permit opportunities. I have included tables naming what actions the students needed to take with regard to their immigration documents and when these actions best needed to take place. I conclude that it is the intention of the federal government of Canada to encourage foreign students to come to Canada for study and to remain, temporarily or permanently, for employment. Further, I conclude that the procedures created to regulate foreign student entrance and stay in Canada are not consistent for all foreign students, but vary according to their citizenship. Last, I conclude that foreign students need to use complex strategies to successfully obtain and maintain their Canadian immigration documents.