Increasing Number of International Students in Canada

In the last decade there has been a rise in the number of International students choosing to study in Canada. The promise of Canadian work with attractive pay seems to be a major incentive.. CIC News reported that the Canadian government considers International Students as an attractive source of labor.

The population of people with Canadian study permits has witnessed an increase of over 400% between the years 2000 and 2019. According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the number of International students in Canada currently stands at nearly 650,000. Canada’s National Statistical Agency reported that around 30% of international students who arrived in Canada at the turn of the millennium eventually made the transition to permanent residency during the first 10 years of study permit issuance. The figure stands at 50% for students with Masters degrees and 60% for those with PhD’s within the stated time frame.

Canada has become an attractive destination for Nigerian students in particular. ICEF Monitor issued a report detailing a 324% increase in the population on Nigerian students in Canada between the years 2000 and 2019. The are currently nearly 12,000 Nigerians pursuing university degrees in Canada. The relative ease of admission and visa processing has definitely served as an incentive to International students over the more arduous procedures of the United States for instance.

Indian and Nigerian students who obtained their first Canadian study visas between 2010 and 2014 lead the statistics for those International students who became permanent residents within five years. The figure stands at nearly 50% for Indians and circa 30% for Nigerians.

Surveys reveal that having employment while studying offers International students a better chance at Permanent Residency. International students make up nearly 2% of the Canadian population. Their age offers them malleability to adapt to the Canadian work system and culture.

International students who successfully graduate from their programs are usually offered the opportunity to apply for the Canadian Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). Eligibility for this permit is contingent on holding a certificate from a designated learning institution.

The PGWP is an open permit which allows Internationals to gain employment and augment their Canadian work experience. This offers a pathway to Permanent residency. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is another pathway for graduates who have at least a year of Canadian work experience and commensurate proficiency in either English or French which are the two official languages of Canada.

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