BorderPass aims to improve international students’ academic endeavours

The company tackles barriers on study permits, immigration, and academics

This is a photo of the Canadian border. Specifically, a sign on a metal fence reads, “Canadian Border Inspection.”
PHOTO: Hermes Rivera / Unsplash

By: Hailey Miller, Staff Writer

International students in Canada face a variety of challenges, including financial burdens, language barriers, affordable housing, health care, and academic pressures. BorderPass is a Canadian company that helps international students with the systemic challenges they face when studying abroad by dismantling these barriers. Specifically, they help international students attain a study permit and create successful applications. 

The Peak interviewed Josh Green, co-founder of BorderPass, to ask about the company’s services and how they can help international students’ experiences abroad. Green explained that BorderPass helps “align whatever [students’] academic goals are with reaching their immigration goals.” This includes things like working after graduation or staying in the country they studied in.  

Green noted that outside of Canada, organizations give unrealistic expectations regarding the international student experience and application process. To counter this, BorderPass lists expectations and provides legal services for students “to put their best foot forward.” He further stated that it’s “a journey to become a permanent resident” in Canada. The company works to support students in staying within the parametres of their study permit, preparing for post-graduation, and finding employment. 

“BorderPass international students are given access to legal-level services that otherwise they wouldn’t be provided with,” Green noted. Aside from this, they are provided “realistic expectations,” and knowledge of what it’s like to study abroad in Canada.

“Institutions can focus on resources in other ways that are more beneficial to them,” rather than having to worry about the immigration process for the students attending these institutions. In turn, Green said this helps “enhance their international student experience and outcomes.” He noted that they have seen an abundance of need “to provide better support for international students.”

Centennial College in Toronto was the first post-secondary institution in Canada that implemented the use of BorderPass. Since then, Green stated that this implementation has helped students by answering their legal questions, and notifying them if more documentation needs to be included or altered. He also noted that many students have the same problems and concerns, so BorderPass works to help them navigate these challenges. Most recently, Borderpass responded to inquiries regarding travel for the upcoming winter break

When asked if Green has seen interest in BorderPass from other post-secondary institutions across Canada, he explained that many have reached out to inquire about their services, wanting to learn more about the benefits to students and how BorderPass works in different capacities to enhance the student experience.

The Peak reached out to SFU for a statement on the university’s thoughts about BorderPass. The university stated that they are aware of BorderPass, but will not be using their services because they already have “similar supports in-house.” They explained, “SFU International Services for Students has a team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors on staff that provide immigration-related support to all international students.” They offer individualized advising services on all campuses alongside online resources, information sessions, and newsletters.

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