Canada is welcoming potential international students with open arms once again, which is a great step for Indians planning to join Canadian universities. Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced major plans aimed at immigrants and temporary visa holders, among other sets of skilled workers. Fraser unveiled the New Immigration Plan 2022-24 recently which will look to welcome almost 451,000 new immigrants by 2024.
The immigration plan will attract and retain newcomers in “regions with acute economic, labour and demographic challenges,” as per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
- Canada’s New Immigration Plan 2022-24 looks to welcome 451,000 new immigrants by 2024
- Of late, as many as 60% of international students intended to apply for permanent residency, with this percentage likely to increase
- Until December 31, 2020, around 530,540 international students held Canadian study permits, as per official government data
How This Matters To Indian Students
As per the plan, Indian and international students are likely to benefit in a number of ways. The plan focuses on boosting immigration numbers since it means that more people will be part of the workforce, engaging in communities and eventually giving back to the economy.
As per official data from the Canadian government, Indian students accounted for 34% of the international student population in Canada in 2020, out of the 530,540 international students in the country at all levels of study.
There has been a 135% increase in international students in the country between 2010 and 2020. Though there was a 17% drop in these numbers in 2020, as compared to 2019, the country’s immigration plan means that foreign students will get great opportunities once they finish studies.
Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec are among the most popular destinations within Canada for students.
Some of the main reasons why Indian and foreign students prefer to study in Canada include safety, quality of education and the country’s image as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society.
Work And Immigration Incentives
Until a few years back, as many as 60% of international students intended to apply for permanent residency, with this percentage likely to increase.
Until December 31, 2020, around 530,540 international students held Canadian study permits, as per official government data. Five years prior to the pandemic, the number of foreign students in Canada had increased by a whopping 80%. This made it one of the quickest growing study destinations.
It also eased curbs for overseas students from October 2020, and followed it up with a number of official announcements allowing more flexibility to students to be eligible for post-study work permits.
It announced that international students can finish their entire programme with approved universities in Canada or post-secondary institutions from their home countries and still be eligible for the post graduate work permit in Canada (PGWP).
In another incentive, the government declared that foreign students in Canada holding a PGWP that has expired can now apply for an 18-month open work permit. More than 50,000 international student graduates of Canadian universities benefitted from this.
In 2020, there were 256,740 study permit holders in the country and a total of 326,116 temporary work permit holders under the temporary foreign worker and international mobility programs. Over 51,000 transitioned from temporary to permanent residents the same year.
The country is also intensifying its vaccination efforts with Canadian institutions putting in place plans for resuming in-person classes in the coming months.