A new article titled “International students who become permanent residents in Canada”, has found that between 20%-27% of the international students who came to Canada to study during the 1990s and early 2000s, obtained permanent resident status within 10 years after receiving their first study permit.
There has been a substantial increase in the number of international students in recent years. During the period 1990-1994, Canada admitted 158,000 international students, an average of about 31,000 per year. From 2005 to 2009, Canada admitted 340,000 international students and from 2010 to 2013, 385,000 international students entered the country. Canada currently admits approximately 140,000 international students each year.
The increase in the number of international students was accompanied by changes in source country composition. The proportion of international students from China or India increased from 6% in the early 1990s to 37% in the early 2010s.
Changes in their characteristics also occurred with the increase in international students. Among those who arrived between 1990 and 1994, 43% were enrolled in primary or secondary schools, while 18% came to pursue a university degree. The remaining 39% were enrolled in trades, other post secondary or other programs.
In comparison, among those who arrived between 2010 and 2013, 22% were enrolled in primary and secondary schools while 29% attended university. The remaining 49% were enrolled in trades (6%), other post secondary (34%) or other programs.
A number of international students eventually become permanent residents in Canada and most obtain their permanent resident status within the 10 years following the receipt of their first study permit. Among those who obtained their first study permit between 1990 and 1994, 27% became permanent residents in the 10 years that followed.
In the early 2000s, the selection process of immigrants changed as principal applicants in the economic class received more points for being of prime working age, proficient in English or French, having Canadian work experience, and having a university degree.
This led to an increase in the number of international students admitted to Canada as principal applicants in the economic class.
However, under the new Express Entry immigration system introduced early this year, it is now nearly impossible for most international student graduates to become permanent residents unless their employers can prove that no Canadians are available for the position.
During the recent federal election campaign, the new Liberal promised to “make changes to the Canadian Experience Class to reduce the barriers to immigration that have been imposed on international students. It remains to be seen when and how this will take place.
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