Predatory Nature of Recruitment of International Students and the "International Mobility Program"
The number of international students in Canada has
expanded as the desperation to use them for private profit
31, 2018 there were 572,415 international study permit
holders, up from 412,101 two years earlier in 2016. India is now the
largest source at 172,625, a dramatic increase from 76,289 in 2016.
China comes next at 142,985, up from 131,740 two years earlier,
followed by south Korea at 24,195, France at 22,745 and Vietnam at
20,330. In addition, in 2016, there were 20,679 from the United States
and 12,649 from Nigeria.
are ages 15-29; 35,303 are ages 30-40 and 17,707 are
under 15 years old.
Approved institutions are now listed by name on the
Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees Canada website. This
listing follows a number of scandals where schools and
"immigration consultants" defrauded students by claiming that
their institutions qualified when they did not. Generally the
institutions that qualify include degree granting universities
and colleges, technical colleges which offer degrees, diplomas
and certifications, as well as flight schools, bible schools and
other religious institutions. Some of the universities listed are
not known or do not have recognized names. In some cases the
institutions are approved only for specific courses -- for example,
offer a flight school program that may qualify but other programs
There is an "International Mobility Program" which
open work permits rather than employer-specific work permits.
This includes the working holiday portion of International
Experience Canada, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program,
spouses/common-law partners of highly-skilled foreign workers and
international students, and certain foreign nationals who are
already in Canada waiting for the finalization of their
applications for permanent residence.
Recruitment policies of public institutions and their
interaction with human traffickers, and the growth of private
colleges and even universities that recruit international
students at exorbitant fees while working with immigration
consultants are not readily made known to the public. It is
known, however, that the level of abuse practiced is predatory
and unconscionable. "Immigration consultants" promote becoming a
student and then receiving a post-graduation work permit as a way
to achieve landed status for foreign youth and workers within the
country who have become undocumented or those whose work permits
are ending. This method is also promoted for educated people
coming to Canada for the first time and wishing to emigrate.
A study permit allows the holder to work part-time while
studying and full-time when school is not in session. The number
of international students who work while studying is not
published with the other stats, and may not even be collected, as
a study permit allows the student to work, and they do not need a
work permit until after graduation.
A post-graduation permit is only available after
from an approved institution. Many of the people find themselves
in institutions which do not in fact qualify and they are
therefore not eligible. Post-graduation employment is the largest
single category in the International Mobility Programs with
101,386 permit holders on December 31, 2016.
Post-graduation work permits are good for eight months
years, with longer times for post university degrees at three
years, and shorter programs given less time. People working under
a post-graduation permit can be "invited" to apply for landed
status or simply have to leave. They have no rights of any
1. Data tables on
study permit holders are found here.
2. The list of approved
province can be found here.
This article was published in
Volume 49 Number 16 - May 4, 2019
Predatory Nature of Recruitment of International Students and the "International Mobility Program" - Peggy Morton