As part of a larger strategy to modernize the International Student Program (ISP) operated by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the IRCC is planning to implement a new Trusted Institution framework to its student visa program in 2024.
The central concept of the plan revolves around evaluating postsecondary institutions based on specific criteria that demonstrate their reliability as partners in areas such as sustainable intake, identification of genuine students, compliance monitoring, and reporting, according to reports. Specific details are limited at this stage.
The IRCC has indicated that Trusted Institutions may benefit from streamlined and expedited processing for their applicants if they meet certain criteria. However, the full implications of this designation have yet to be fully clarified.
Currently, any Canadian institution admitting international students must be classified as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), and approved by their respective provincial or territorial government and international students require an acceptance letter from a DLI to apply for a Canadian study permit.
The new Trusted Institution framework will effectively establish a two-tiered structure among Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), with some being recognized as Trusted Institutions and others not.
In June 2023, the IRCC introduced the Trusted Institution framework to select peak bodies and stakeholders as a result of the Strategic Immigration Review.
We identified several concerns, including the vulnerability of international students, the rapid growth of applications, and the need for greater diversity among international students.
Two primary sorts of data will be used to support the Trusted Institution architecture. Some information, such as study permit approval rates, country of origin, and post-graduation student outcomes like the transfer to post-graduate employment permits or other IRCC programmes, will be taken from IRCC records as well as other Government of Canada sources.
DLIs will also have a responsibility to engage in a novel reporting initiative, which will involve disclosing additional details to IRCC.
Data points such as the proportion of income derived from foreign students’ tuition, the funds allocated by the institution for services aimed at assisting international students, the availability of university-managed accommodations, the ratio of teachers to students, and the rates at which international students are retained, will constitute components of this information.
Following a town hall event in August 2023 attended by selected Canadian institutions, IRCC plans to refine its data collection survey and make it accessible to all DLIs in fall 2023. Data will be compiled and analyzed through spring 2024 to establish initial Trusted Institution designations.