More international students becoming Canadian immigrants | INS The Immigration Specialists Inc.


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  • More international students becoming Canadian immigrants

    More and more international students are choosing to study in Canada, and the Canadian government views them as a promising source of labour.

    According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the number of study permit holders increased from 122,700 to 642,500 between 2000 and 2019.

    Three in 10 international students who arrived in Canada after 2000 transitioned to permanent residency within 10 years since receiving their first study permit. This is according to a report by Statistics Canada, which detailed that half of master’s degree students, and six in 10 doctoral degree students made the transition within the same time period.

    International graduates who were enrolled in non-university post-secondary education are of particular interest. The number of these international graduates who first enrolled between 2010 and 2014 and who became permanent residents, more than doubled, compared with those who first enrolled between 2000 and 2004.

    This may suggest that an increasing number of international students come to Canada to pursue post-secondary education for the chance to become permanent residents. Non-university post-secondary programs may be easier to get into than university programs.

    Among international students who got their first study permit between 2010 and 2014, almost a half (46 per cent) of people coming from India became permanent residents within five years, more than any other country. India is followed by Nigeria, with 30 per cent, and Vietnam, with 21 per cent.

    International student graduates who worked during their period of study or after graduation were more likely (60 per cent) to become permanent residents.

    In addition, those with higher paying jobs were more likely to become permanent residents. For those who got their first study permit between 2005 and 2009, and who had an annual salary of $50,000 or more, 87 per cent transitioned to becoming permanent residents. For those with an annual salary below $20,000, just 46 percent made the transition.

    Looking at this data holistically, it appears that having Canadian work experience and higher paying jobs are the strongest motivating factors that influence the decision of international graduates to stay in Canada permanently.

    Post-Graduation Work Permits Jump 160%

    “New Study Permits issued increased 21,000 (44 per cent) year-over-year, and new Post-Graduation Work Permits increased by 24,000 (160 per cent) in the first quarter of 2021,” wrote Agopsowicz. “This is good news after seeing Canada’s international post-secondary student population fall by 60,000 in 2020.”

    Despite the uptick in immigration and return to fast population growth in Canada in the early part of this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has left a permanent reminder of its passing.

    “Even with strong growth in the early months of 2021, the pandemic amounts to a lost year in terms of Canadian population growth,” wrote Agopsowicz.

    Year-over-year growth was 0.4 per cent. The natural increase in the population (births minus deaths) was just 6,400, the lowest level in recorded history, as a result of both population aging and COVID-19 related loss of life.

    Source: Statistics Canada

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