Attention international students!!!Â Your transition from school to the Canadian workplace just got a little easier and a lot more flexible.
On Monday, April 21 the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced significant changes to Canadaâ€™s policies surrounding work permits for international students. For the teams in Career Services and SFU International, this is really big news. Work permits still must be applied for and secured within 90 days of graduation; however, they will now be extended for three years and students do not have to have a job offer on the table in order to receive permission to work legally in Canada. Furthermore, a more flexible approach will be applied to the employment opportunities themselves, as graduates will not be required to immediately find a job that is directly related to their field of study.
â€œThe Government of Canada wants more foreign students to choose Canada and we want to help them succeed,â€ said Minister Finley. â€œOpen and longer work permits provide international students with more opportunities for Canadian work experience and skill development. This will, in turn, help make Canada a destination of choice, and help us keep international students already studying in Canada.â€
But, for international students at SFU, what does this really mean? Check out some of these numbers. Currently, there is approximately a 600 000 person backlog of applications to live, study and work in Canada. When it comes to immigration in general, changes need to be made, especially since several experts are suggesting that, by 2012, immigrants will account for all net growth of the Canadian economy. And last year Canada broke records for accepting temporary and permanent residents into the country. This most recent change will undoubtedly create a myriad of possibilities for SFUâ€™s international student population, but students should also be aware of the existing limitations in the countryâ€™s immigration policies, even in spite of these groundbreaking changes.
Are you an international student at SFU? Check out the Canadian Work Search Readiness Series and stop by during the International Ice Cream Social this summer to learn more about your employment future in Canada!