The government of Nova Scotia has launched a new immigration stream specifically targeted at international students who have worked in the province for a minimum of one year.
The new stream will be part of the provincial nominee program which selects candidates for the federal express entry system, says Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab. This year the government will be able to nominate up to 1,050 candidates for the provincial nominee program, up from 700 last year.
The new stream has been started as a pilot project mainly because it was felt that highly-qualified candidates, who include many international students, were not being nominated for the express entry system through other provincial streams.
The new stream aims to provide foreign students with a chance to apply for permanent residency in Nova Scotia.
Thousands of foreign students were unable to apply for permanent residence under the Canada Experience Class (CEC) last year after the 2014 limit on the program was exceeded. The students had tried to file their applications prior to the introduction of the Express Entry system which makes it more difficult for them to get permanent residency.
Foreign students made up to 40% of eligible candidates under the CEC, a program which was also used by highly skilled temporary foreign workers. The CEC was hugely popular among international students as it almost guaranteed permanent residence to them if they had relevant Canadian work experience.
Figures show that about 8,000 applications filed under CEC last year were not accepted. These applicants will now have to apply under the new Express Entry system, which is not a favorable option for students.
“Students now have to engage in this kind of lottery. When someone is coming here and paying international tuition fees and getting work experience, why should they be judged like someone applying from abroad,” says immigration expert Lev Abramovich.
Until recently, candidates who possessed a positive LMIA (labor market impact assessment) were more likely to receive invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system. However, the latest group of Express Entry invitees included many applicants without an LMIA, increasing the chance for foreign students to receive invitations.
But most international students still feel that the new system makes it tougher for them to get jobs in Canada. “Under the old system, you could tell your manager legitimately that you are applying for permanent residency. It created more of a trusting relationship. Under the new system, you are waiting to be invited. … there’s now a risk that is involved,” says a recent foreign graduate.
The federal government insists that Express Entry will benefit foreign students even more once it is fully implemented by 2017, as the students then would not have to get their credentials assessed for Canadian equivalency.
But immigration experts have warned that countries that have implemented work restrictions on international students have seen a huge decline in their numbers, and that the same could happen in Canada as well. For instance, the UK saw an alarming 50% decline in students from India and Pakistan after it imposed restrictions on their right to work there after graduation. With foreign students paying more than double the tuition fees compared to local students, their declining numbers would mean losses in revenues that Canadian universities want to avoid.
In 2014, Canadian universities had about 133,000 undergraduate and graduate foreign students in attendance, with a total of 120,000 study permits granted to international students at colleges and universities. Surveys show that more than half of these students intend to stay on in Canada after graduation.
According to several experts, Canada’s new permanent residence application system will discourage top-level professionals and other highly skilled workers from coming to this country unless changes are made soon.
The new Express Entry program, which came into effect on January 1, combines together workers wishing to apply for permanent residency in Canada. They submit an application and are awarded points based on various criteria, and those with the top scores are then invited to apply for permanent residency.
The problem with the new system, experts say, is that it fails to take into consideration foreign workers who are already in this country on temporary work permits and visas. And one of the criteria worth the most points in the system makes it difficult, if not impossible, for top executives and other high-skilled workers to fulfill.
Under the program, a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) is worth 600 of 1,200 available points. An employer must apply for an LMIA before hiring a foreign worker, to show that the foreign worker is needed to fill a job opening because a Canadian can’t be found to fill the post.
The other 600 points in the system are awarded based on an applicant’s personal characteristics, including age, language skills, education, work experience and marital status. This means that anyone who has an LMIA starts at 600 points, and collects more based on their personal characteristics. An applicant without an LMIA can only get a maximum of 600 points based on education, language, work and personal information.
Others who are affected by the policy are workers who came to Canada under LMIA-exempt categories, including those with a NAFTA permit, a clergy visa, or others who are considered a significant benefit for Canada. While some work permits are renewable, others are only in effect for a specific period of time.
A recent online petition calls on Citizenship and Immigration Canada to allow workers to extend their post-graduate work permits and award points for the work experience accrued by applicants in that category. It also calls on the department to eliminate the LMIA requirement for those on post-graduate work permits, or at least make it easier for employers to apply for them.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada counters that, in fact, Express Entry does take into account the education and work experience that international students have acquired while in Canada, particularly from open work permits.
The main problem with the new system is that top-tier workers, who have been in this country for a few years, are making good money and paying taxes, are being put into the same pool as someone who just graduated from university or who is still abroad hoping to come to Canada to work at a trade.
Some say that CIC should relax its rules for highly skilled workers, and make it more difficult for workers outside of Canada who do not have Canadian experience. The process by which an employer obtains an LMIA should also be overhauled,
The department, however, says that at the moment, the Express Entry program identifies and invites only the top-ranked candidates from the pool. This means that the Express Entry system ensures that only the candidates who are most likely to succeed, and not simply the quickest in submitting their application, are able to apply to immigrate to Canada.
Recent changes to Canada’s immigration regulations that came into effect on January 1st, 2015 have placed international graduates from Canadian universities at a disadvantage. Many were seeking to qualify for Canadian permanent residence. In the past, foreign students with work experience in Canada enjoyed an advantage over other applicants when seeking permanent residence. The new rules will also make it tougher for Canadian universities to recruit foreign students. The open system of residence after graduation was one of the factors that attracted 200,000 foreign students to postsecondary institutions in Canada in 2014.
Under the new rules, foreign students who hold a degree or diploma from Canadian educational institutions will be treated on par with other groups of skilled workers. All economic class candidates will form part of the pool from which Citizenship and Immigration Canada will issue invitations offering permanent residence. In the past, students were not required to compete with other groups of skilled workers when seeking permanent residence.
The Express Entry Pool, which forms the core aspect of the Express Entry system, has been established to reduce application times, and to facilitate improved connections between Canadian employers and employees intending to apply for permanent residence.
Invitations are issued on the basis of a ranking system based on the number of points earned by an aspiring immigrant. The maximum score is 1200 points. A Labor Market Impact Assessment which indicates the absence of a Canadian worker available for the position will enable the applicant to score 600 additional points. Other factors like education and age count for 600 points. The first two cohorts invited by the Ministry to apply for permanent residence had a cutoff of 800 points. Since students don’t qualify for a LMIA, they cannot avail the 600 points.
Students are likely to be hurt the most by the new system as those with very little work experience will find it difficult to prove that there is no native Canadian who can perform the task in question.
While students can seek permanent residence through Provincial Nominee Programs, tens of thousands of students who have entered through the Federal program cannot get transferred to provinces without complicated negotiations.
Provincial programs accord higher priority to permanent residence applications made by international students holding credentials from a Canadian postsecondary institution along with professional work experience. Ontario’s 2500 spots under its PNP are filled primarily by international students.
The Express Entry Immigration system, announced in detail in early December, is expected to have a very negative effect on those students who had planned on relying on favourable policies designed to help post-graduate students obtain permanent residence. These policies had been framed on the basis of findings that indicated that such students were most likely to adapt to life in Canada.
Many recent graduates sought to bypass the new rules by submitting their applications early. In December, the CIC had indicated that thousands of spots under the old regulations were still available. However, many fall graduate applicants learned that their applications were rejected on the ground that the quotas for Canadian Experience Class, the category under which they previously qualified, had been reached in October 2014. Now, these students are required to apply under the new regulations. Most will unlikely qualify unless they can meet provincial nomination programs.
Interestingly, many students who were hopeful of applying under the old rules were devastated to learn that the authorities had committed a mistake by indicating the availability of thousands of spots under the old rules. With students spending in excess of $100,000 towards their education in Canada, the premise under which they made such decisions has been vacated.
There are hopes that criticism of the functioning of the Express Entry system may result in changes that could include a reduction in the score required for a graduate student to be invited to apply for permanent residence. Until then those who had opted for Canada over the US or the UK due to the relatively ease to acquire Canadian residence, will have to just wait and watch. Canadian education institutions will likely share in this process.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
Canadian immigration policy analysts have worked closely with the education industry to build Canada’s international reputation. It is clear that the Immigration Ministry is causing substantial harm to the industry with the new Express Entry regime.
Every year about 200,000 Indian students go to foreign universities to pursue higher education, incurring an annual expenditure of roughly $15 billion. The four most popular countries for Indian students have been the UK, the US, Canada and Australia.
However, universities in Australia have been seeing a steady decline in numbers of foreign students since 2008. Increasing incidences of racist attacks against foreign students in Australia has led to a decline in the number of Indian students going there, whereas Canada’s share has been increasing due to its more tolerant culture.
A study by Technopak Advisors revealed that the number of Indian students in Australia dropped by 56% from 28,411 in 2008 to 12,629 in 2012. The percentage of Indian students in Australia declined from 14.8 in 2008 to 6.4 in 2012.
Student counsellors say that they advise students to choose their destination on the basis of two main factors besides tuition fees and cost of living: ease of migration and personal safety. On both accounts, they have admitted, that Canada has been faring better than Australia in recent years. “There were incidents of racial discrimination and young boys being killed in Australia a few years back and all these made headlines. Families were scared to send their children and several agencies, which were providing migratory services shut down. Some of the dubious Australian universities were also providing courses just for the sake of migration. The Australian government had come down heavily on them,” said N Chandramouli, CEO of Trust Research Advisory.
On the other hand, the fastest growth in attracting Indian students has been recorded by Canadian universities between 2008 and 2012, during which its share increased from 4.3% to 14.7%. There has been a whopping 357% increase in the number of Indian students going to Canada between 2006 and 2013. While 2006 saw only 6,927 Indian students in Canada, that number went up to 31,665 by 2013, earning Canada about $860 million.
“Reputation of education system in Canada and safety are two important factors that beckon Indian students to the country. The society is tolerant and non-discriminatory, and summer jobs and opportunities after completion of study are available for foreign students,” says Aurobindo Saxena of Technopak Advisors.”While both Canada and Australia promote migration, the norms are easier in Canada and the society too has a cosmopolitan structure,” adds Chandramouli.
Besides safety and ease of migration, Canada also offers lower tuition fees and living expenses when compared to the US and other countries. Upon migration to Canada, a student has to pay the same tuition fee that is applicable to local students, which is almost half of the fees applicable for international students.
They’re the new “it kids” of higher education — international students who pay big bucks and bring a global feel to campus — and now, a year ahead of schedule, Ontario has topped its goal of attracting 50 per cent more to its colleges and universities.
Since Queen’s Park vowed in 2010 to boost the ranks of foreign students to 57,000 within five years, their numbers have grown to 66,417 and counting, said MPP Reza Moridi, Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities. There are now 43,159 at university and 23,258 at community college.
The province plans to keep chasing these global whiz kids to boost the economy and enrich the ivory tower, he said, even as some warn they’re being exploited with inflated fees and little support.
However, the drive for these lucrative visitors — who pay up to three or four times more tuition than their Ontario peers with little chance of financial aid or affordable health coverage — has sparked warnings. Student groups say Ontario should limit their tuition hikes just as it does for home-grown students, and let international students use OHIP instead of making them pay $800 for a private insurance plan that is not accepted at all hospitals.
A Statistics Canada report Thursday showed international undergraduate fees in Ontario rose by 10 per cent last year.
The Canadian Federation of Students in Ontario was to meet Friday with officials from Ontario’s health ministry to discuss the possibility of letting international students use the province’s health plan, as is permitted in Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
Some 4.5 million students around the world are getting their post-secondary education abroad — twice as many as roughly a decade ago — and more than half of them come from Asia. The United States draws the largest share at 17 per cent, the United Kingdom 16 per cent, Australia 6 per cent and Canada 5 per cent, according to fresh figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The University of Toronto ramped up its international recruitment in 2008 and now has 12,600 foreign students, roughly 15 per cent of enrolment — twice the share as 12 years ago, said Jill Matus, vice-provost of students.
“They enrich the fabric and diversity of the university — even the National Survey of Student Engagement (used at universities across North America) asks students how often they discuss ideas with someone from a different country,” said Matus. “This is built into what the U of T is. It’s part of our tradition.”
The University of Toronto streamlined its recruitment to other countries and focused more on spots such as Turkey and parts of India and the United States, she said.
However, the university also helps foreign students adjust once they’re here. It pilot-tested a new pre-Orientation week this year called Step Up for 120 international students who stayed together for five days in a downtown residence and learned about the Ontario academic system, met professors and Canadian students and got over their jet lag before having to tackle regular Frosh Week, said Miranda Cheng, director of the Centre for International Experience.
The University of Toronto also has hired a “learning strategist” to help international students with issues from taking notes to what Ontario universities consider cheating. Some students are not used to Canada’s definition of plagiarism, said Bangladeshi-born Arif Abu, co-ordinator of international student services for Ryerson University’s 1,800 foreign students.
“In some cultures, knowledge is public property and you often don’t have to do proper citation — and in a friendship, you share your homework, so a lot of international students struggle with this at first,” said Abu, who came to Ryerson 11 years ago to earn a bachelor and master’s degree — and stayed.
“Class participation can also be different. If you came from a culture where you learn from your seniors, it’s hard to find yourself in a place where you’re expected to question everything, open your mind and speak up in class.”
York University has worked to raise the number of international students to about 6,000, about 10 per cent of total enrolment — with hopes to raise it to 15 per cent, said Rhonda Lenton, vice-president academic.
“International students contribute to the vibrancy of the university, but I think it’s imperative that if you open your doors, you provide students with the kind of supports they need.”
York has reached out in a number of ways, from setting up online “webinars” and Skype sessions before they leave home to airport welcome receptions and a free shuttle bus ride to campus when they land.
York also runs special sessions for international students during orientation week, said Lenton, and offers seminars on everything from Canadian banking and transit to academic culture. It also offers winter holiday activities for foreign students who can’t go home for the holidays.
“The last few years we’ve really tried to hone our supports for international students,” said Lenton.
“It’s not just about recruiting them; it’s about retaining them.”
Source: The Star
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
Current immigration policies are aimed at attracting foreign students and offering them access to permanent residence programs. Studies show this increases the chances for higher retention rates.
The National Graduate Survey of 2010 by Statistics Canada shows that the vast majority of university graduates, who study in Canada, got employed with decent incomes three years after graduating. This is excellent news for international students who are considering a study visa or a related immigration experience in Canada.
It was no surprise when a new survey of 21,000 bachelor’s graduates from 41 universities, which was filled out 6-7 years after their 2006 and 2007 convocations, revealed that they had a 96% employment rate, mild variation in employment rates between disciplines, and a median income of $63,000.
It also reconfirmed the presence of a gender gap. The median incomes for women were reported to be $60,000, compared to $70,000 for men.
However the most striking aspect of the survey was the huge range in salaries based on degree. A report on the survey (from the Canadian University Baccalaureate Graduate Outcomes Project) shows that while most graduates find some work, those who undertake specific degree programs are much more likely to get high-paying jobs. The report includes a chart which shows earnings for the 25th to 75th percentile of students by degree type. According to the report, the humanities graduates get the lowest incomes ranging from $40,000 to $65,000. The highest salaries were taken by engineering graduates, who tended to earn between $65,000 and $100,000. Business graduates featured in between, earning from $55,000 to $90,000.
According to the survey, more than 10% of humanities and education graduates were employed part-time whereas almost all engineering and business graduates were in full-time employment. This implies “underemployment” for humanities and education graduates.
The survey also found that employment rates are similar irrespective of whether graduates are visible minorities, first-generation students (first in the family to attend college or university), living in certain regions or French speaking. However the survey reported that graduates with disabilities were less likely to be employed – only 90% of these graduates found employment compared to the overall figure of 96%.
The gender gap in earnings was also re-established – young women who are good at math in high school are half as likely as young men who are good in math to choose math-heavy STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science). This also re-emphasises the results above that STEM graduates often earn more than other graduates.
International students who may be considering a study in Canada or a related immigration experience in Canada are invited to contact us and receive free study in Canada assessment at no charge. We also provide free legal services to study in Canada, to qualified applicants.
Canada should set up a new Crown corporation to attract international students to its universities, says a new report commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Canadian International Council (CIC).
Time for a Fresh Curriculum points out that Canada can capture a big share of the international student market. Currently, Canada ranks eighth by the number of students. The foreign-education seekers are a good source of income and the US takes advantage of this by taking in more than twice as many students as Canada.
Canada has a competitive advantage to attract the world’s best and brightest young people. It has immigration policies that incentivize higher education and youth. The report however suggests that Canada needs to work harder at attracting and welcoming international students, particularly in light of the recent political squabbles over immigration.
A steady increase in foreign student numbers cannot be achieved easily. It depends on a number of factors like the unpredictable shifts in public opinion on immigration and preferential treatment of foreigners in the workplace. Although Canada has yet to experience such a backlash, the recent furore over temporary foreign workers and the simmering resentment against immigrants could play a negative role in attracting foreign students.
The report also urges Canada to encourage its own students to think of overseas education when considering their post-secondary options. The report claims that these “young ambassadors” will help improve relations by strengthening the education and cultural ties between host and home nations.
If you’re looking to gain valuable international work experience while you attend school in Canada, a co-op or internship program might be right for you!
Many Canadian colleges and universities offer internship work programs to enhance the academic curriculum with hands on real world industry experience. Typically, students spend alternating semesters between learning in the classroom and then applying that knowledge through an on the job internship in their field of study.
Co-op or internship programs are also an excellent way for students to earn money during the school semester and to enhance your resume with work experience and invaluable business contacts.
International Students who want to on Co-op or Internship need a work permit.
- Possess a valid study permit
- The intended employment is an essential part of the program of study in Canada
- The intended employment must also form part of the academic program requirements
- The duration of the intended co-op or internship employment cannot be more than 50% of the total program of study
Embrace your future and let Immigration.ca become the choice for your study in Canada experience that will last a lifetime!
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There are many reasons why more than 400,000 International Students chose to live and study in Canada each year.
Here are just a few:
Canada has high academic standards. This will ensure that you will be earning a high-quality education experience. It will provide introductions and open many doors to an excellent future and career advancement. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is highly respected around the world and often recognized as equivalent to programs in the United States and countries in the Commonwealth.
The quality of an education experience and the standard of living in Canada are amongst the highest in the world. Yet best of all, tuition fees for international students are lower in Canada than in many other countries such as the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. For these reasons, a study in Canada project is the preferred choice for students attending post secondary education at the college or university levels.
With so many of the world’s ethnic groups fully represented in Canada, everyone can feel right at home in Canada. Canada’s rich cultural heritage provides the widest choices of ethnic foods and recreational activities.
Canada continues to rank among the highest in related United Nations surveys. And Canada has 3 cities (Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto) among the world’s most liveable according to the Economist’s Annual surveys. As a Canadian temporary resident and while you study in Canada, you can enjoy many of the same rights, freedoms and privileges that protect all Canadians. This is the hallmark of what makes Canada such a stable and peaceful society.
Canada is a bilingual country with English and French as the Official Languages. And it is a global leader in language education and training. Here you will find many world class language education options that will help improve your proficiency and ability in either of our official languages. For many, language courses are also important to support an eventual immigration project (Canada permanent residence) which requires high proficiency in English or French.
Campus Lifestyle is an important consideration for many international students and Canada does not disappoint. Campuses across the country feature the latest in technology with wireless hotspots throughout enabling a rich experience featuring online interactive learning experience. Campus facilities often include Olympic-calibre sports facilities, concert halls, student-managed government, radio, newspapers and on campus businesses within an expansive infrastructure. Canadian universities and colleges typically feature the best mix of an academic and leisure lifestyle in an environment that facilitates immeasurable opportunities to meet students from a varied international student microcosm.
Canada’s many universities and colleges are leaders in research one of the hallmarks of a Canadian post-secondary education experience. With a study in Canada experience you can become a part of this important part of the Canada study landscape. In Canada, government and industry often collaborate together to support a myriad of research projects in the medical sciences, computer technology, telecommunications, agricultural sciences and environmental sciences.
Current government policy caters to a growing pool of international students with strong ties to Canada, including Canadian study credentials and Canada based work experience. Qualified students on a study permit are encouraged to apply for Canadian permanent residence under various Federal or Provincial immigration programs without ever having to leave Canada.
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to some common questions about Studying in Canada.
Imagine! You can soon be living and studying in Canada!
Embrace your future and let www.immigration.ca become the choice for your study in Canada experience that will last a lifetime!
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