Canada: International students want more support

Canada hosted 353,000 international students in 2015, up several times from the 84,000 recorded a decade ago. A substantial number remained after graduation, either for employment or through gaining permanent residence status.

Challenges this group of students face range from the financial to visa application processes. Tuition fees for all post-secondary students have risen across the board in recent decades, and obstacles remain in the application process when obtaining visas for themselves and their family members.

In light of the above, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) recommends that more on-campus support is provided (eg. writing centres, counseling, advising) and a more straightforward approach towards visa processes for spouses/partners of international students. It also calls for more scholarships for lower-income and refugee students.

In terms of working rights, the group makes several recommendations: faster immigration process for international students to work while studying; extension of off-campus work rights for part-time international students; and introduction of full-time elective internships or co-op internships of up to a year for international graduate students.


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