The Student Partners Program (SPP) is a joint pilot project between Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s visa offices in India and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).
Following a positive evaluation of the 2010 results, an extension of the Student Partners Program has been agreed to in principle with the ACCC, as well as an expansion to include some additional ACCC colleges.
A joint pilot project called the Student Partners Program was launched in April 2009 between Canada’s visa offices in India and twenty member colleges of the ACCC. The goal of the program is to increase the approval rate for study permit applications at participating Canadian colleges.
“The Student Partners Program has resulted in an increase in the number of Indian students on our college campuses,” said Minister Kenney. “International students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study.”
In 2008, India ranked seventh with 3,244 people in terms of source countries for students.
“International students contribute to the cultural life and economic success of colleges and institutes and of the communities they serve. In partnership with CIC, we have doubled the approval rate of visas for students from India coming to Canadian colleges. We will work with CIC to expand the initiative to other ACCC members,” said Mr. Knight.
During the first nine months of the launch of the program, CIC’s visa offices in India received over 4,000 applications in the program. The program has successfully met its objective: the approval rate for the first group of students under the program coming to study this past September was more than double the approval rate for the same colleges the preceding year. Furthermore, 95 percent of the students remain in good standing at an ACCC college. Processing times within the program are faster than the global norm, with an average of about two and a half weeks.
The program has several checks and balances, from requiring applicants to provide verifiable documentation, to a feedback mechanism where colleges report back on whether students show up. The safety, security and health of Canadians are of the utmost importance. All students who come to Canada through the Student Partnership Program must adhere to the same screening requirements as any visitor or student.
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