As Canada opens up as a post-pandemic world with relaxed border restrictions, the Canadian government has discussed implementing policies that would encourage greater immigration to Canada, particularly to attract more international students. .
International students and Canada
International students play a vital role in the Canadian economy and have an impact on Canada’s role on the world stage. The number of international students studying in Canada has
increase considerably over the past 20 years. Since holding a minor market share of less than 1% of international students in 2001, Canada has become one of the top four countries of choice for students wishing to study abroad. In 2021, more than 600,000 foreign nationals held study permits in Canada. The impact on the Canadian economy also cannot be overlooked, as study permit holders have recently been granted the option of working overtime off-campus until end of 2023.
The increase in the number of international students arriving in Canada has coincided with a greater number of international students transitioning to permanent residence after completing their studies. In 2021, more than 150,000 international students became permanent residents after their student temporary resident status expired, representing a four-fold increase in the number of international students who became permanent residents five years ago.
International Student Report
The House of Commons of Canada standing committee on Citizenship and Immigration examines issues relating to the management and operation of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) and the Immigration and Refugee Board. The Committee also oversees the federal multiculturalism policy.
In May 2022, the Committee compiled a report entitled “Difference in treatment in the recruitment and acceptance rates of international students in Quebec and the rest of Canada »who made 35 recommendations to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
The report focused on the recruitment and acceptance rates of international students in Quebec and Canada as a whole. The report discusses how the government attracts, selects and retains international students in Canada, and further comments on the reasons cited for denial of an international student permit and potential causes for systemic differences in officials’ decisions from IRCC. Finally, the report made recommendations to improve communication between the government, international students and future international students.
Since the release of the report, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has released a response detailing how they intend to address the report’s recommendations.
Attracting international students to Canada
Although the number of international students in Canada is already at an all-time high, the Canadian government expects the number of international student study permit holders to increase over the next few years. It is expected that next year the number of study permit holders will continue to increase as more study permits are granted. However, the report looked not only at the volume of international students coming to Canada, but also at the countries from which they came.
Based on the report’s recommendations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada agreed to ensure changes move forward in how foreign students are attracted to Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada first said it was working to expand the Student Direct Stream to more countries, which would allow prospective students from those countries to obtain study permits more efficiently. Areas noted for expansion of the program are Bangladesh, African countries and especially French-speaking countries.
The expansion of the student direct stream for French-speaking countries goes hand in hand with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s commitment to investigate study permit refusal rates for students destined to Quebec and to increase dialogue between Quebec and Canada on immigration .
Changes to simplify the immigration process for international students
The Canadian government is committed to improving the overall immigration experience for international students by simplifying parts of the application process, increasing the efficiency of the application process, and ensuring transparency of international student requirements.
In response to the increased demand for student permits, IRCC has hired approximately 500 additional processing staff. As the number of applications continues to grow, IRCC has announced plans to hire an additional 1,250 staff to increase processing capacity and reduce the backlog of applications. The government is also committed to modernizing the application review process, which, in turn, will increase processing efficiency. Monthly data should be published to keep applicants informed of the backlog of applications.
IRCC is committed to ensuring better communication between international students and immigration officials. IRCC plans to continue working with Designated Learning Institutions to produce accurate data on international student enrollment and status.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will consider adding international students to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Settlement Program, which would partially fund settlement services for international students on the path to permanent residency. Many students eventually become permanent residents through applications through the Canadian Experience Class Express Entry. Therefore, the changes being implemented will help those applying for permanent residency.
Positive report and response for international students
Overall, the response to the report and its recommendations seem to bring positive news to international students. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is committed to making substantial changes to the immigration process, including implementing the report’s recommendations in an effort to alleviate some of the stressors for international students wishing to continue their studies. in Canada.
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