The number of international students transitioning to Canadian permanent residence is rising – and the numbers could increase sharply in 2018.
Federal government figures for 2017 show 9,410 candidates who previously held Study Permits as international students became permanent residents, up from 8,250 in 2016.
This 36 per cent translates to 30,600 former international students issued with ITAs for Canada immigration.
While an ITA does not guarantee a successful application, if even half of that number went on to become permanent residents in 2018, it would still represent a significant increase.
The increased numbers come as a result of a clear federal government strategy to attract more international students and motivate them to stay after graduation.
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From Study Permits, to Post-Graduate Work Permits, to permanent residence and citizenship, Canada has introduced changes designed to attract foreign students.
From primary to post-graduate level, in 2017 there were 494,525 international students in Canada. The target had been to reach an international student population of 450,000 by 2022.
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But with no indication of the rate of increase dropping, there are set to be more than 500,000 international students here in 2018.
International students add an estimated $15 billion a year to Canada’s economy.
Meanwhile, the U.S., which attracts the most international students, is seeing a dip in numbers.
Figures show a 4 per cent drop in the number of undergraduates and post-graduates in the U.S., from 840,160 in 2016 to 808,640 in 2017.
Surveys show three-quarters of admissions managers in U.S. schools feel the policies of Donald Trump’s administration have made it more difficult to attract international students.
Canada is sat across the border with a much more welcoming stance, and the figures show it is reaping the rewards.
How Does Canada Attract International Students?
1) Provides access to expedited processing via the Student Direct Stream for international students from major markets in China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.
2) Gives students the right to work during their studies.
3) International graduates can access the Post-Graduation Work Permit, allowing them to work for up to three years after completing their studies.
4) Prioritizes permanent residence applications from international graduates through Express Entry by offering specific points for Canadian education credentials.
|Education Level||Number of Points|
|One or two-year post secondary||15|
|Three-year post secondary, master’s, professional degree or doctorate||30|
5) Multiple provincial immigration streams also target international graduates.
6) Time spent in Canada temporarily counts towards physical presence requirement in citizenship application.
7) Reduced citizenship physical presence requirement to three years in the last five from four in six.
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