The government wants to make
sure foreign students are using
their Canada visa to study.

The government has announced its intention to toughen Canada visa restrictions for international students in order to combat reported abuse of the system.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said he had heard anecdotal reports of foreign citizens entering the country on a legally obtained Canada visa ostensibly to attend one of the country's colleges or universities and were either purposely seeking employment instead of studying, or were being exploited into the sex industry.

The immigration minister last month prevented foreign citizens in the adult entertainment industry from applying for a visa and was warned at the time that this would only push more people into attempting to enter the country illegally.

"This is a loophole being allegedly used by some criminal operations to bring potentially vulnerable young women to Canada to face exploitation," said Mr Kenney.

"We don't have much in the way of hard data on this. It's a concern that has been raised and I think it's a legitimate one and we think this underscores the need for us to better police the program."

The UK has notoriously suffered from abuse of its student visa system and the debate whether to include student figures as part of net migration figures still rages on. However, despite being a world leader in the international education industry alongside the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand, Canada is the only country which has no checking process in place to check applicants' authenticity.

Foreign citizens claiming they are entering Canada to study and finding work instead damages the country's international reputation and its billion-dollar international education industry while undermining migrants who enter Canada through the proper immigration channels.

Mr Kenney has said he is proposing provinces submit lists of education institutions within their jurisdictions which have credible histories of welcoming bona fide international students and barring others from accepting international students.

"Our broader concern is to ensure the integrity of the student visas that we issue."