In 2022, Canada has witnessed exemplary results of introducing and reworking different policies to ease and attract more international students to the country. Seeing the results of decisions made in 2020 and 2021, Canada is now working in overdrive, aiming to break all immigration records the country has set in the past.
According to a CIC News report, in 2021, Canada witnessed 450,000 new study permits take effect, higher than the previous record that had been set in 2019. Previously, around 400,000 new study permits took effect in 2019, before the pandemic caused the number to dip drastically in 2020 to a little over 255,000.
The report highlighted that the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) publishes this data every month, revealing the number of study permits that have taken effect during the month. The report added that the figures included new incoming students to Canada as well as those already in Canada receiving a new study permit.
Inevitably, July and August 2021 were the months that saw the highest number of new study permits taking effect, just as the 2021-22 academic year was set to begin.
Additionally, the IRCC also publishes year-end data within the first quarter of each calendar year, which highlights valid study permit figures in Canada as of December 31. Last years jump in overall new study permits taking effect in Canada was able to almost reach pre-pandemic figures. CIC News reported that as of December 31, 2021, Canada saw 622,000 new in-effect study permits, just shy of the 640,000 new study permits that had been in effect as of December 31, 2019.
Canadas move towards easing the travel restrictions, as well as changing regulations to the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), led to prospective students finding it easier to travel to Canada for higher studies during the pandemic. This, combined with the strict travel restrictions in other top study-abroad countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand, led to Canada witnessing almost minimal competition in the past two years.
With respect to the PGWP rules, Canada understood that the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the global virus would mean that students who wish to pursue Canadian courses will have to complete some part of their studies remotely. According to regulations, to apply for PGWP, international students cannot pursue distance or remote learning. However, to help the students, this PGWP criterion was temporarily relaxed till August 31, 2022.
Earning a Canadian degree and with prospects to earn Canadian work experience, the chances of receiving permanent residency in the country also increases. CIC News reported that international students were attracted to the country due to the increased prospects of permanent residency in Canada, its multiculturalism, high-quality of education, and several other factors.
According to the data published by IRCC, India was seen as the largest source of international students, attributing to almost 35% of the entire international student cohort. The top courses of international students in Canada have been listed as follows:
India contributed 217,410 international students
China contributed 105,265 international students
France contributed 26,630 international students
Iran contributed 16,900 international students
Vietnam contributed 16,285 international students
South Korea contributed 15,805 international students
The Philippines contributed 15,545 international students
The USA contributed 14,325 international students
Nigeria contributed 13,745 international students
Mexico contributed 11,550 international students
With the government working long hours to improve its immigration system to bring in as many skilled and qualified workers to the country, the prospects of international students improve proportionally as well. Especially with PGWP, international students stand a better chance at becoming permanent residents of Canada than other immigrant categories.
Source: CIC News
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