International Students in Canada

What the future holds with Immigration Lawyer Will Tao

With over 700,000 international students in Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has been struggling with what to do with them all. Many of these students are wondering if they have a future in Canada over the long term. In this episode Canadian Immigration Lawyer Will Tao joins me talk about some of the challenges students experience when studying in Canada and some essential tips to avoiding the most common pitfalls.

[NOTE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had temporary affects on international students in Canada including study permit processing and the ability of some students to travel to Canada to attend school. Many schools are currently offering online programming. IRCC has instituted temporary measures to allow students to attend class overseas and obtain up to 50% credit for PGWPs while studying outside Canada. Students in Canada are currently authorized to study online while their programs and schools are holding online classes. Students who have been admitted to programs that are currently closed due to COVID-19 are able to remain in Canada and work off-campus in accordance with the regular off campus employment regulations. Full-time work is only authorized during “regular” scheduled breaks except for those students working in occupations deemed essential services:  – last updated May 7, 2020]

I was super happy to have Will Tao join me again after an almost four year absence on my Podcast. The last time he joined me, he was just cutting his teeth in the world of immigration law. [Listen to Will talk about his journey to becoming an immigration lawyer in Episode 26] However, he has worked hard to establish himself as a thought leader in our industry and someone who truly practices immigration law the right way.

Will Tao (pronouns: he/him) is a Canadian Immigration and Refugee Lawyer at Edelmann and Co., who lives and works on the traditional, unceded territories of the Coast Salish – sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

Will provides legal services in all areas of Canadian immigration and refugee law with a focus on complex applications, overcoming refusals, inadmissibility matters, appeals, and judicial reviews. Will regularly appeals before the Immigration and Refugee Board and the Federal Court of Canada. His focus is on international students, families, and temporary foreign workers.

Will also provides strategic advice and consultation to government, media, educational institutions, and businesses on immigration/refugee, decolonization, and race equity related issues. He is the founder and creator of Vancouver Immigration Blog, where he hopes to make immigration and refugee law more accessible to the general public. He is a second-generation Canadian, product of immigrants, and finds his personal motivation in the sacrifices of his parents and the resilience of Indigenous ancestors to this land.

In this episode Will and I discussed the plight of international students in Canada and pulled back the curtain on what is really happening in the background of immigration processing. Will took some time to share his thoughts on the challenges international students face in Canada and offered a few solutions to some of the most common pitfalls.


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