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FAQs related to IRCC reforms

Note from Glenn Vollebregt, SLC President and CEO:

We know that many students and SLC community members have questions and are uncertain about the proposed reforms announced by IRCC on Monday, January 22. We are concerned that the short-sighted reforms will have long-lasting impacts on the Canadian post-secondary sector. We are also disheartened that international students may lose opportunities to study, live, and work in Canada, contributing their talents and perspectives to our economy and workforce.  

We will continue to advocate for students from round the globe to be able to study and learn in Ontario, and we are seeking concrete details about how the proposed reforms will be implemented. We know our graduates are welcomed and needed by employers in our region, and we know our programs and campuses are enriched by the perspectives all students bring to the classroom, the lab, to placement, and beyond.   

As details continue to emerge about the proposed reforms announced by IRCC, SLC is committed to supporting our students and sharing updates as they become available. FAQs on this page will be updated as information is confirmed. 

FAQs 

Study permit extension requests for current students are not impacted. Please visit Additional information about International Student Program reforms - Canada.ca to learn more.

Students who applied for a study permit on or after January 22, 2024, are subject to the new requirements, including a provincial attestation letter. Please find out more on the pending attestation process here.

Spouses of international students in undergraduate and college programs will no longer be eligible for an open work permit, but the timing of this change is not yet known. This, and the impact on spouses of post-graduate work permit (PGWP) holders requires additional clarification from IRCC. Please visit Additional information about International Student Program reforms - Canada.ca to learn more.

From January 22, 2024, onward all study permit applications submitted to IRCC will require an attestation letter from the province or territory the student has applied to study in. Applications without the attestation letter will be returned to the applicant by IRCC. Information on applying for an attestation letter is not yet available. Provinces and territories are given to March 31, 2024, to determine a process. Until a process is in place, study permit applications in Ontario are frozen. Please visit Additional information about International Student Program reforms - Canada.ca to learn more.

Current students will still be eligible for PGWPs. The IRCC has announced that graduates of programs that are at least two years in length are eligible for a three-year PGWP. The length of PGWPs will continue to align with the length of the study program, to a maximum of three years. Please visit Additional information about International Student Program reforms - Canada.ca to learn more.

Please see the federal government news release for details.  

New international students at St. Lawrence College's Kingston, Cornwall, and Brockville campuses will be eligible to receive PGWPs that continue to align to the length of study program, to a maximum of three years. Graduates of programs that are at least two years in length are eligible for a three-year PGWP. 

New students at our Toronto-based public-private partner, Alpha College, will no longer be eligible for the PGWPs. For more information, please visit the IRCC website.

St Lawrence College (SLC), including Kingston, Cornwall, and Brockville campuses, is a public model institution. Toronto-based Alpha College is a public-private institution, established through the Ontario provincial public-private partnership model. Students across all campuses receive a St. Lawrence College credential. 

All SLC students contribute much-needed talent and expertise to Ontario labour markets. Whether during their programs, on placement, or afterwards as part of a work permit, college students help fill positions in key industries like healthcare, hospitality and tourism, emerging technologies and green industries, manufacturing, construction, trades, and more. In particular, many international students come to SLC with prior education seeking to be further trained and they contribute as top talent to key sectors of the local and provincial workforce. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will not require an attestation letter from the Government of Ontario. Upload a copy of your proof of study permit application to the OCAS International Application Portal as soon as possible. If your visa application is approved, you must pre-register for the Spring 2024 term and upload your approval letter or visa stamp to the OCAS International Application Portal. If your visa application is refused, you should withdraw and request a refund in the OCAS International Application Portal (upload your visa refusal letter as part of your request). Please visit Additional information about International Student Program reforms - Canada.ca to learn more.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will require an attestation letter from the Government of Ontario. Do not submit your study permit application until you have an attestation letter. 

The Government of Ontario is expected to establish a process for requesting an attestation letter by March 31, 2024. Please stay tuned for updates on this process, more information will be shared once it is available. Please visit Additional information about International Student Program reforms - Canada.ca to learn more.

For students on the Kingston, Brockville, or Cornwall campus, Student Success is available to help students with concerns related to academic programs, and the Student Wellness and Accessibility department has extensive resources and services, from self-serve to one-on-one counselling. The International Student Advisory team is being equipped with updates, to ensure they are best able to support our international students. 

For students in programs offered at the Alpha campus, the Front desk is available to help students with concerns related to academic programs and student services. Please connect with them via email frontdesk@slc-alpha.ca