Quebec suspends CAQ applications from 10 designated learning institutions

Kareem El-Assal, Shelby Thevenot, Alexandra Miekus
Published: December 30, 2020

Quebec's Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI) will not accept new Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) applications from students going to the 10 designated learning institutions (DLIs) that are under investigation starting December 30.

CAQs are required by most individuals who want to study in Quebec.

Applications submitted before this date, but are still in processing, will be suspended. This decision will be in effect until March 31, 2021.

The following 10 DLIs are under investigation, according to the MIFI government website:

  • M College of Canada;
  • Matrix College of Management, Technology and Healthcare;
  • Canada College inc.;
  • Herzing College (Institute);
  • CDE College;
  • Montréal College of Information Technology;
  • Institut supérieur d'informatique (ISI);
  • Universel College— Gatineau Campus;
  • Collège CDI;
  • Montréal Campus of Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles

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These institutions are under investigation for their recruitment strategies, MIFI told CIC News in French by email:

Questionable recruitment practices for international students at some educational institutions have come to light in recent weeks. In order to preserve the integrity of the Foreign Student Program, it has been decided to suspend the receipt and processing of applications for temporary selection for studies submitted by foreign nationals admitted or enrolled in one of the educational institutions subject to an audit or investigation by the Ministry of Higher Education.

DLIs are educational institutions approved by the Quebec government to welcome international students and such students are then eligible to obtain Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs). 

PGWPs are coveted because they enable international students to gain skilled work experience they can go on to use to be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Options such as the Quebec Experience Program and Express Entry's Canadian Experience Class are among the many skilled worker immigration streams across Canada that facilitate permanent residence pathways for former international students who hold a PGWP.

Quebec has more latitude than any other province or territory in Canada with respect to enabling private educational institutions to be DLIs. This is due to Quebec's special status within Canada. As a result, with few exceptions, the overwhelming majority of private institutions that are DLIs are found in Quebec.

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