International Student Campaign Update: What’s Going On?

Read updates below about what’s going on in our campaign to win changes to permit and immigration rules.

Current & former international students! Register to join the monthly organizing meeting to hear about what we’re up to and make plans for what’s next: Wednesday June 1, 7pm EST / 4pm PST

If you haven’t already, sign and share this petition to demand fairness for all of us:

Here’s why: 

The announcement

On April 22nd, the federal government announced that they would create open work permits for migrant students whose post-graduate work permits were expiring or expired. 

Problems with the PGWP open work permits

But there were two major problems. First, the program is only open to those whose permits have expired or will be expiring between January 31, 2022 to December 31, 2022. And second, while the promise was made, applications have still not opened. In the meantime, permits continue to expire, which means we are losing jobs, status, and our access to healthcare, income and wages

Why this change happened? 

This change, as you know, happened because current and former international students like you are organizing together across the country, signing petitions, joining press conferences, making phone calls, and organizing rallies and protests. We win access to our rights, when we take action collectively. 

What about the CEC draws?

The government also announced that the CEC draws would be opening in July. As you know, there have been no draws since September, so it would be 10 months by the time the draws re-open. As we wait, many of us are losing points and are worried that we will not get invited for PR because the CRS scores will be so high and there are limited spots. 

What about valuing all work?

Many of us work in school, we work part-time, and in essential, low-waged (NOC C & D jobs) and sometimes for cash. Yet none of this work counts towards PR in current immigration programs. We are essential yet excluded. The federal government’s announcement does not make PR rules better for any of us. 

What about study permit holders?

We continue to pay high tuition fees and rent, can’t get scholarships or income supports, and everyday prices rise at the grocery store and the gas pump. At the same time, when we work more than 20 hours, we face exploitation. Minister Fraser did not announce any changes for current study permit holders.

So, what do we do next?

The changes to the PGWP program are supposed to come into effect in June, so we have just a few days to make sure that no one is excluded. Last week, Migrant Students United sent another letter to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, and on Friday, we met with staff from his office. Clearly, when we are loud together, the government will pay attention. So we must get even louder. Here’s how you can do that and raise your voice:

++ Register to join the monthly organizing meeting to hear about what we’re up to and make plans for what’s next: Wednesday June 1, 7pm EST / 4pm PST:

++ Sign up to join or organize a postering or petitioning action near you:

Any day now, we will get the government to do the right thing, and change the start date of the open work permit program to include those whose PGWPs expired last year. But that won’t be enough. Together, we will continue to speak up for our rights at work, at school, and for permanent resident status for each and every person in the country without it. 

If you haven’t yet, sign and share this petition:

United, we are stronger!