• November 24, 2014

Quebec Offers Fast-Tracked Canadian Citizenship to Foreign Students

Quebec is playing the citizenship card in a bid to recruit to Canada foreign students who might otherwise be tempted to study in Australia, Britain, or the United States.

The province's premier, Jean Charest, who is leading a delegation of university heads on a visit to India, told a packed meeting at the University of Mumbai on Monday that, starting on February 14, foreign students who graduated from universities in Quebec would get "a certificate of selection" that would put them on a fast track to Canadian citizenship.

"Any student who secures a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from any university in Quebec will obtain a certificate of selection to become a citizen of Canada ," said Mr. Charest, according to The Times of India. "We have the right to select our own citizens. We are doing this because we have a shortage of skilled labor."

Mr. Charest said that once foreign students had the certificate, the federal government would then carry out security and health checks before awarding citizenship.

The premier's announcement is likely to encourage Indian students to think about Canada, especially in the wake of a surprise report over the weekend that British authorities had temporarily suspended all student-visa applications from northern India, Nepal, and Bangladesh because of suspicions that not all applicants were genuine students. British visa offices were inundated with an unusually large number of applications from the region, a development that set off fears of fraud.

Recent racial violence against Indian students in Australia as well as the sudden closure of four Australian colleges that left thousands of Indian students out of pocket and without credentials may be cooling the attraction of studying in Australia. And Canadian universities believe they can significantly increase their enrollments from India.

The Quebec universities, like their counterparts in other provinces, already have a number of partnerships with Indian institutions. "Over the last few years, we've seen, right across the country, Canadian universities showing an increased interest in strategic engagement with India," said Pari Johnston, international director of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. "They've stepped up efforts in terms of recruitment, joint research partnerships, joint program development, and sending our own students to India for exchanges and internships."

A pilot project run by Canadian immigration authorities and community colleges to speed up applications from India has doubled the acceptance rate, according to a report released by the government last Friday. It showed that processing visas took an average of about two and a half weeks. The program is designed to uncover any fraud with a variety of checks, including a requirement that applicants provide verifiable documentation and a feedback mechanism in which colleges report back on whether students show up.

Comments

1. raymond_j_ritchie - February 02, 2010 at 09:35 pm

But the Indians do not speak French! Why would Quebec want them?The issue of Indian students in Australia has degenerated into a massive immigration scam, in particular "vocational students". Genuine Indian students are quite humiliated by the immigration scams going on. If you have a class made up of a lot of Indian students, the majority of which turn up at registration and then disappear, never to be seen again, even the most politically correct realise that there is a scam going on. Quebec will learn the same lessons as Australia. The assurances at the end of the article are just drivel. They will not work. The problem is that universities and vocational colleges get government money for ghost students and what institution is going to give money back to the government if they have hundreds of ghost students on their books.
Thugs in Quebec will quickly discover that Indian students wandering home from working in the black economy at 2am are excellent targets for mugging. Easy to identify and easy to mug. Racially motivated attacks indeed.

2. perspolis - February 03, 2010 at 12:37 pm

raymond_j_ritchie: Now while I think and agree this is not perfect and am sure will have its own problems, your comments seem highly racist. In a forum such as Chronicle, I would hope we could do without those negative sentiments.

3. raymond_j_ritchie - February 04, 2010 at 08:43 am

Dear Persopolis. Negative sentiments sometimes need to be said. Do not jump to conclusions based on your own out-of-date perceptions. You would be stunned to see the racial/ethnic profile of the streets of Sydney and Melbourne today, in particular how much intermarriage/interbreeding occurs. Australia is different to Nth America in that respect. I am an Australian of uncertain racial/ethnic origin. Ha!Ha! That possibility never crossed your mind did it!
Quebec is falling into the same trap Australia did foolishly thinking there is nothing to learn from the Australian experience. We had a well intentioned vocational student immigration program to fulfil a perceived skilled-labour shortage (a mirage generated by the cheap-labour lobby). Political correctness imposed a lack of oversight and the scheme degenerated quickly into an Indian immigration scam. Political correctness prevented any corrective action until major scandals and diplomatic problems emerged. The fact that both the government and educational institutions made money out of it led to deep ideologically driven corruption of the ruling elite and opinion formers in Australia. Rapacious education agents, bribery, forged passports, forged qualifications (as many as 70% were forged), substitution, ghost students, shouting down any questioning of the policy or qualifications of students as "racist", downgraded courses, separation of courses into local and overseas student streams with different exams and examiners (policy in place in several universities under "cultural sensitivity"), pressure to pass all overseas full-fee students no matter what, casual teachers refused further employment after failing overseas students, any defence of academic standards put down as "racism", directors of vocational colleges skipping off with the fees and government grant money, fly-by-night diploma mills, you name your favourite corruption.
The reputation of Australian education overseas has been severely discredited and the social consequences were and are continuing to be enormous. Overseas students often have quite quaint notions of Australia and are not told that large parts (hundreds of square kilometres) of big cities like Sydney and Melbourne are dangerous at night. They often have no idea of the cost of living in Australia, forcing them to work illegally (violating their visa restrictions) in the black economy in factories, restaurants and service industries often in dangerous city areas. There they are vulnerable to all forms of abuse especially getting mugged at night. They are paid in cash. Perfect targets. How much of Montreal is unsafe at night? Having spent a miserable time as a post-doc in Canada I know that the cost of living in Canada is obscenely high.
Of course the Quebecers will deliberately ignore the Australian experience because we are all vicious racists. Quebec has a problem that we do not: they are in Nth America. Many vocational students will quickly move to Vancouver or Toronto or the US after they get Canadian citizenship. What's to stop them? A Canadian visa gives you the right to live wherever you want in Canada. What special features has Quebecois culture and climate got to offer to encourage them to stay? Difficult questions to face up to.
Sadly, I admit it is foolish to try to warn on immigration scam issues, particularly if you are only an Australian. We could not possibly have any opinions or experiences worth listening to: after all we have only peacefully accomodated 1/3 of the population that was not born in Australia and another 1/4 to 1/3 who are first generation Australian born to at least one immigrant parent. Political correctness wins again - but political correctness gives you nothing but a right to be told only what you want to hear. I will never bother to write on this topic again.

4. laxmi - February 04, 2010 at 11:29 am

what all we have to do for this citizenship? what are the criteria for this? how cab we apply for this?

5. gadget - February 04, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Really. I am an American of Canadian descent. This sounds very attractive just as I am starting to look at grad schools for a PhD. As a child I visited Canada many times to visit relatives and have fond memories of Canadians and Canada. Is this for any foreign students?

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