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Canada to protect Nig. students from fraud

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By Abraham Adekunle

Immigration minister unveils ways to strengthen int’l student program integrity.

Canada has unveiled new measures to protect students from Nigeria and other countries against fraud. Marc Miller, Canada immigration minister, who revealed this on October 27, 2023, said that the measures will strengthen international student program integrity and the well-being of genuine students. In a statement, he said that international students are talented, bright and deserving of a positive experience as they pursue their studies in Canada. As such, the country will continue to improve Canada International Student Program by protecting students and weeding out those who try to take advantage of them.

“Whether an international student stays and works after graduation or returns home, we want their time as a student in Canada to have been beneficial to their growth and aspirations,” he said in a statement. The statement added that effective from December 1, 2023, post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLI) will have a new obligation to verify every applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The enhanced verification process will shield potential students from fraudulent acceptance letters, preventing incidents like those witnessed earlier this year due to fraud investigations.

New process aims to guarantee the authenticity of acceptance letters.

In the statement, the process aims to ensure that study permits are only granted based on authentic letters of acceptance. Miller also noted that IRCC will conduct its first review of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in 10 years and will announce reforms in the coming months. He said that the goal is to calibrate the PGWP to address Canada’s labour shortages in areas of the economy with a greater need, as well as regional and Francophone immigration goals.

According to the IRCC, Africa’s biggest economy moved up by four places, ranking fifth position on the top source countries of international students that entered Canada in 2022. Also, an analysis of the IRCC data shows that the number of new study permits issued by Canada to Nigeria rose by 17.8 percent to 16,195 as of December 31, 2022, the highest on record from 13,745 in the same period of 2021. In other words, Nigerians are emigrating to Canada more than ever before.

High commissioner reveals tips to emigrate to Canada.

Meanwhile, James Christoff, Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria has revealed important tips for Nigerians looking to migrate to Canada. Speaking at a special visit to Lagos Business School, Christoff said that for people looking to move to the country for work should research the skills that it is offering and make sure that it matches the skills that the country wants. “The process is there to align your skills with what we need in Canada. Many Nigerians have taken this path,” he said.

Canada has a population of roughly 40 million and is the second biggest country in the world in terms of landmass with six time zones. It is a massive country. However, skilled and unskilled labour is needed to drive the economy. This also includes students. According to the commissioner, the country’s geography helps them to pick and choose the people coming into the country. Doing this keeps them abreast of their country’s economic growth.

Plan to take in 500k immigrants a year by 2025.

Importantly, Canada aging population and lower birth rate has been shrinking its labour force, forcing the country to intensify its efforts to attract large, young and vibrant immigrants by offering immigration-friendly policies. In 2022, the Canadian federal government announced an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years. In 2022, the country landed 437,120 Permanent Residents (PR), a nearly eight percent increase from the total number of PRs in 2021.

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