Canada’s immigration system is taking a significant step forward in streamlining the process for obtaining study permits. Beginning December 1, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will implement new procedures for verifying letters of acceptance (LOA) for overseas study permit applications. This initiative aims to ensure the authenticity of acceptance letters and simplify the application process for students worldwide.
- Enhanced LOA Verification: Post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) must verify LOAs for study permit applications submitted outside Canada.
- New Template for LOAs: IRCC encourages DLIs to use the newly provided template, making it easier for officers to process applications.
- Conditional Acceptance: DLIs may issue conditional letters of acceptance, requiring students to complete prerequisite courses before full admission.
- Joint Programs: For programs offered by multiple institutions, an official letter of acceptance should clearly indicate the partnership.
- Renewals and Compliance: Students may need to provide additional documentation, like enrolment letters, when renewing study permits.
Important Changes in Verification Process:
- Online Verification: DLIs will receive notifications for verification activities via the IRCC LOA verification portal.
- Timely Response: DLIs have a 10-day window, extendable to 15 days temporarily, for completing the verification process.
- Consequences of Non-Verification: If a DLI fails to respond, the application will be closed, and fees refunded.
Dealing with Unforeseen Circumstances:
- In cases like natural disasters or public health emergencies, DLIs can request an extension of up to 30 days for LOA verification.
This update is a crucial development in Canada’s commitment to maintaining a robust and efficient immigration system, particularly for international students. By ensuring the legitimacy of LOAs and streamlining the verification process, IRCC is enhancing the experience for students and educational institutions alike.