Jun 18, 2019 – International students say they have no choice but to work more than they are allowed in order to afford to study in Canada.
With approaching 575,000 study permit holders in Canada at the end of 2018, questions are being raised about whether the number is sustainable.
Many have admitted working more than the 20 hours they are allowed after the case of Indian Jobandeep Singh Sandhu was brought to public attention.
Indian Sandhu faces deportation after being found to have worked too many hours as a long-haul truck driver to help pay for his studies. The 22-year old was pulled over back in December 2017 on his way from Montreal to Toronto.
Now, other students have told how they took overnight menial jobs to pay for their studies, often falling asleep during class because of the lack of rest.
Other have spoken of how they were forced share tiny apartments because that was all they could afford.
Provincially, Ontario leads the way for number of international students, with more than 315,000 at the end of 2018. This represents a 58 per cent increase on the 2015 total of less than 200,000.
British Columbia hosts the second highest number, with 155,455 in 2018, compared to 128,820 in 2015.
The number of Indian citizens in Canada on Study Permits spiked by nearly 350 per cent in the last five years.
Indians rose above Chinese citizens as the number one nationality of Study Permit holders in 2018, as numbers increased to 172,625 from 38,460 in 2014.
During the same period, the number of Chinese Study Permit holders has increased from 107,815 to 142,985.
The figures show how India has quickly become the most important source country for Canadian colleges and universities looking to grow their international student populations.
Citizens of India and China dominate the landscape of Canada Study Permit holders.
Of the 572,415 total Study Permit holders in Canada in 2018, 315,610 of them, or 55 per cent, were either Indian or Chinese.
South Koreans held the third most Canadian Study Permits in 2018, with a total of 24,195.
A three-step process has been established in Canada targeting international students. First, they hold Study Permits while in full time education, second, they become eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit, and third, they can use all the experience gathered to qualify for permanent residence.
Post Graduation Work Permit Requirements
- Studied full time in Canada in a program of at least 8 months duration.
- Graduated from a public post-secondary institution, a private post-secondary institution, or a private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.
- Submit an application for a work permit within 90 days after receiving written confirmation of completing a study program.
- Received notification of eligibility to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate.
- Possess a valid Canada study permit.
It had made Canada one of the more attractive countries in the world for foreign students considering their study options.
Ottawa announced in October 2018 that it will accept more than a million new permanent residents over the next three years, and a significant chunk of those are expected to be international students.
The federal government sees them as blue chip new permanent residents: young people with a Canadian education, knowledge of the official languages, often with Canadian work experience and knowledge of how life works here. This puts them already on the pathway to integration.
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