Canada welcoming more international students

The number of new study permits issued to international students in Canada increased by 5.4 per cent in 2015, according to the latest Canadian government figures

The Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration showed that 125,783 new study permits were issued to international students last year. The report also found there was a 6.4 per cent increase in the number of student applications received in 2015 – to 187,968 – compared with the year before.

“International students bring with them new ideas and cultures that enrich the learning environment within Canadian educational institutions,” the report said. “They also make a major economic contribution – international students spend more than CDN$11.4bn in Canada annually.”

This figure represents a significant bump from the $8bn annual spend estimated in the 2014 report.

The country’s Immigration Minister, John McCallum, explained that temporary immigration represents a “significant contribution” to the country’s economy and labour market.

“Canada has always been a popular destination for students, workers and visitors from around the world, and this popularity is growing at a remarkable rate,” he said.

The latest report also outlined that there were 5,829 holders of international study permits who transitioned to permanent residence last year.

“Former international students are also well-placed for success within Express Entry,” the report noted.

According an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada spokesperson, almost a quarter (22 per cent) of those applying through Express Entry (the route to permanent residence in Canada) had Canadian study experience.

“Former international students are also well-placed for success within Express Entry, given the particular attributes of international students including their education, possible Canadian work experience, strong official language skills and youth,” according to the spokesperson.

“A review of Express Entry is underway to see how it can be further improved for potential immigrants, including international students,” she added.

Earlier this year, the Liberal government announced it was taking steps to ease the process of international students becoming permanent residents by repealing a bill passed by the previous government.

The target for international student admissions in 2017 is between 280,000 and 320,000.

Article published 9th November 2016