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More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal - Travel - Nairaland

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More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by ednut1(m): 12:05pm On Dec 05, 2023
The number of international students who seek asylum in Canada has more than doubled in the past five years, according to government data obtained under an access-to-information request.

The number of refugee claims made by study permit holders has gone up about 2.7 times to 4,880 cases last year from 1,835 in 2018, as the international student population also surged by approximately 1.4 times to 807,750 from 567,065 in the same period.

Over the five years, a total of 15,935 international students filed refugee claims in the country.
While less than one per cent of international students ended up seeking protection in Canada, the annual rate of study permit holders seeking asylum doubled from 0.3 per cent to 0.6 per cent between 2018 and 2022.

Critics say the increase is a reflection of the global displacement trends as a result of wars, conflicts and violence in recent years, as well as of Canada’s failure to respond to the global refugee crisis through resettlement efforts.

The United Nations Refugee Agency has reported that the number of people displaced worldwide has gone up from 70.8 million to 108.4 million, a historic level, over the same period.

“What’s happening is just that there is overall mass displacement and people who are arriving in the country in the international student program are becoming refugees while they’re here,” said Hussan Syed, executive director of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a national advocacy group for foreign workers and students.

We’ve never met anybody who came to the country with the aim of becoming a refugee claimant, trying to fool the system there because it is just easier to come on a tourist visa.”

Canada’s fast-growing international student program has been in the spotlight amid the post-secondary education sector’s — and unregulated foreign agents’ — aggressive recruitment campaigns. The students and their hefty tuition fees have become a lucrative revenue stream for Canadian schools and employers have grown accustomed to having the students to fill jobs in low-wage fast-food joints, retail, warehouses, factories and gig work.
The current affordable housing crisis and rising cost of living have seen many international students struggling to seek employment and secure shelter and led to some turning to food banks, which has prompted critics to call on stringent admission criteria to ensure international students are supported.

The growth of international students has primarily come from the public and private college sectors, because their programs are cheaper and shorter than those offered by universities but can still yield students the opportunity to stay and work in Canada — and in some cases, qualify for permanent residence.

The asylum data showed eight of the top 10 post-secondary institutions with the highest refugee claimant numbers came from Ontario colleges.

Seneca College topped the list, with a total of 695 of its international students seeking protection in Canada between 2018 and 2022, followed by Niagara College (455), Centennial (460), International Language Academy of Canada (415), George Brown (395), Fanshawe (385), Humber (320) and Conestoga (300).

The two universities that made the list were both outside of Ontario; the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (435) and the University of Regina (305) ranked fourth and ninth, respectively.

Syed said some of the students his organization has come across, such as those from Ukraine, only learned their circumstances could qualify them for asylum after they came here and the conditions of their home countries changed.

“People may choose to make a refugee claim, but it’s very hard to make a claim. It actually costs a lot of money to do that right now. Average lawyers are charging $7,000 to make a refugee claim,” he said.

So it’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card. You have to gather evidence, retain a lawyer. But, of course, there are certain people who would (game the system), but I don’t think it’s a majority.”

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there’s nothing to stop study permit holders from making an asylum claim in Canada and from being granted protection if their cases meet the legal definition and requirements.

The data that came internally from the Immigration Department — broken down by school — shed rare light on asylum seekers who initially came on a study permit because the Immigration and Refugee Board itself does not collect data based on the status that a claimant initially came to this country under.

Earlier this year, a large group of international students was accused by Canadian border agents of using fake college admission letters the students said were provided by unscrupulous education agents aboard for their study permits to enter Canada. It prompted the federal government to set up a special task force in June to look into the allegations. Last month, officials said they had reviewed 103 of the 285 “cases of interest,” and 63 of the 103 were determined to be genuine students and would be issued a three-year temporary resident permit.

The incident, along with concerns over the exponential growth of the international student population, prompted Immigration Minister Marc Miller to review the international student program, which contributes $22 billion a year and creates more than 170,000 jobs in the Canadian economy.

“We have a system that has lost its integrity and is subject to some of the worst aspects of fraud,” Miller told reporters recently when he introduced a new process to verify the school acceptance letters of each study permit applicants starting in December.

In the fall semester of 2024, the Immigration Department will start a “recognized” institution regime to vet colleges and universities based on yet-to-be-revealed criteria. It’s meant to, among other things, speed the processing of study-permit applications from trusted institutions.

In an email, the Immigration Department said anyone who seeks to work, study or visit in Canada must meet the requirements for temporary residence and applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

It said consultation is underway to establish the criteria for the trusted institution program and the factors under consideration include recruiting sustainably; the capacity to support students with things such as housing; student outcomes; and whether students are genuinely here to study.

The department would not say whether asylum claims made by international students at each post-secondary institution would be used as an indicator.

Nicholas Keung is a Toronto-based reporter covering immigration for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @nkeung

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/more-international-students-are-seeking-asylum-in-canada-numbers-reveal/article_7ea4d18a-f7bb-545c-acaf-52c9de626ca1.amp.html
Re: More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by ednut1(m): 12:08pm On Dec 05, 2023
If you dont have the money for living expenses and tuition think twice before embarking on study visa route. Alot of agents and youtubers will tell you to borrow POF and that you can gather funds for your tuition while studying. How is that possible with the allocated 20 hours and tough economy?

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Re: More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by CoronaVirusPro: 12:18pm On Dec 05, 2023
Canada needs the people!

That land mass needs to be filled-up!

They should be encouraging asylum and softening express entry criteria’s

How can a country be that big, and has a lesser population than the addition of Lagos and Kano.
Re: More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by ednut1(m): 12:24pm On Dec 05, 2023
CoronaVirusPro:
Canada needs the people!

That land mass needs to be filled-up!

They should be encouraging asylum and softening express entry criteria’s

How can a country be that big, and has a lesser population than the addition of Lagos and Kano.
arable land is less than 5%. Its not sustainable bringing food from other places with trucks and planes. In the Northern region food prices are double in prices and have to be flown in. The country can’t support a large population to be honest.

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Re: More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by Bankowner: 12:40pm On Dec 05, 2023
It's not that easy if you cannot afford to pay at least 3 terms tuition fees at the time you're starting your program (and that's for a 2-year College degree). With 20 hours per week work and one's ability to maintain a good credit rating on his credit card, one can get enough money to pay the last term's tuition. I started using my credit card with a limit of CAD1000 and it was enhanced to CAD2500, then CAD4500. I maxed the card plus saved cash and loan from my sibling to pay my last term's tuition and immediately started paying down. Some schools make it easy during your 3rd and 4th term such that you can apply for tuition deferral. You pay a fixed amount of the total fees and pay the balance a month later.
ednut1:
If you dont have the money for living expenses and tuition think twice before embarking on study visa route. Alot of agents and youtubers will tell you to borrow POF and that you can gather funds for your tuition while studying. How is that possible with the allocated 20 hours and tough economy?

1 Like

Re: More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by Kennyg290: 4:04pm On Dec 05, 2023
The land plenty are still hoping and praying to enter for sustainability. JAPA on the alternative
Re: More International Students Are Seeking Asylum In Canada, Numbers Reveal by TPProjectMngr(m): 11:40pm On Dec 15, 2023
Study route has always been difficult even when 1CAD was N140, some people that came in as students in the past could have come in as PR if only they did enough research and are patient. Though PR and PNP routes are now challenging due to the high CRS required, I strongly believe that Nigerians should explore these options before deciding on study route.

It is now a common knowledge that schools (NS, NB) have started reducing the number of Nigerians that they accept and I wonder if we are the only ones that still go the expensive route to come to expensive Canada.

Maybe someone can also share with me why they would prefer Study route (without having excess fund available, and still temporary) to PR/PNP route (cheaper and permanent).

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