The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (the Committee) asked the government of Canada to issue open work permits to international students who do not have enough funds to live and study in Canada.
The Committee aimed to assess the recruitment and acceptance rates of foreign students in Quebec and across Canada, as well as francophone Africans from countries with refusal rates ranging from 80% to 100%. The high refusal rates for African students, most of whom are black, have fueled accusations of systemic racism in Canada's immigration system.
During its hearings, the Committee was told that the high refusal rate of international students is also a missed opportunity for Canada. Foreign students can attend primary, secondary, or postsecondary schools in Canada.
In Canada, all primary and secondary schools are able to enroll international students, but only certain post-secondary schools have been approved as designated learning institutions (DLI), which can accept foreign students.
The Committee focused on international students who plan to attend post-secondary schools in Canada for more than six months. Foreign students wishing to study at a Canadian DLI must apply and receive a letter of acceptance from the institution before submitting a study permit application to IRCC. If IRCC approves their application, they can enroll in the program of their choice.