International Students at a Disadvantage Under New Immigration Rules


OTTAWA, February 17, 2015 – The federal government’s new permanent residence application system discourages international students from staying in Canada after graduation. The new Express Entry program puts students applying for permanent residency into one pool and in direct competition with already skilled and experienced foreign workers. Prior to January 1st, international students did not have to compete with other skilled workers.

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) believes it is unfair to put recently graduated international student, who pay up to three times in tuition, in the same pool as top-tier workers who have been in Canada for years gaining work experience. This hinders international students’ ability to integrate and transition into the Canadian labour force. Under the current rules, an employer must apply for a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) before hiring a foreign worker. “Our concern is that international students working and studying in Canada are here on permits that don’t require an LMIA”, said Travis Gordon, Board Chair for CASA. An applicant who has an LMIA will automatically have aleg up over recently graduated international students.

CASA calls on Citizenship and Immigration Canada to eliminate the LMIA requirement for those on work permits after graduation. “We ask that the federal government implement policies that better facilitate international students transition to permanent residence”, said Gordon. “International students provide an important contribution to our culture on campus. Given the opportunity, graduating international students can have a tremendous impact on our economy, the federal government should be working hard to keep them in Canada”, adds Gordon.

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About CASA
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 280,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.

Matthew Rios, Government Relations and Communications Coordinator
Office: 613-236-3457 ext. 221
Mobile: 902-300-2102