The CBC published a story on a new crackdown on post-degree work visas in the United Kingdom.
The story featured Kimberly Hirschy, a current student in the UK who is hoping to find work and stay in the UK after she graduates, but the visa requirements don’t leave her feeling very hopeful. Contrast the UK’s policy on Canada’s policy. Here in Canada, most international students studying at university receive a study permit and a work permit all in one document, meaning they can work while they are students even during summers instead of having to return to their home country. Then there is the relatively relaxed process of getting a post-degree work permit, which most often allows international students to work in Canada for up to two years after graduation. This fits nicely into the time it usually takes to apply to be a Landed Immigrant and eventually citizenship if so desired. Specific information about studying and working can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website here.
I can’t speak to the rationale behind the UK’s policy crackdown, but I can make a guess from all the media attention on their immigration issues recently. I suspect that these students are not the intended target of the crackdown, but could be caught up in an over-reaction to these other immigration issues. That would be unfortunate.
I believe Canada’s policy is an enlightened one which I support wholeheartedly. Kimberly Hirschy’s closing comments in the story explain the philosophical differences between the UK immigration policy and Canada’s policy: “We know that people and ideas are what drives cultures forward.”
Yes we do.