Post-secondary institutions in Canada have increasing numbers of international students coming through their doors. These institutions encourage applications from international students, who help Canadian universities and colleges to expand their programs and increase their revenues. By opening the doors to students from abroad, campus promote diversity is promoted, which enhances the post-secondary networking and college experience for all students.
It is now far easier for international students to pursue their education in Canada, as the country has expanded its Student Direct Stream (SDS) to three more nations in 2019: Senegal, Morocco, and Pakistan. Through the SDS program, students from these countries, and also China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam are able to receive study permits in just 20 days.
Since 2012, Canada’s international student population has doubled to over 570,000 students in the year 2018 and continues to increase year on year. What this means is that there are more settlement and integration needs to be met. Students from overseas may face loneliness, financial problems, or find it hard to get work in Canada.
Universities are focusing on how to better support international students, assisting them in their job search and even in obtaining permanent residency. For instance, the Rotaract Club at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia is offering free mattresses to 47 international students who live off-campus. These students cannot afford basic furnishings, and this project makes their life easier.
Express Entry for international students
On completing their Canadian education, many international students seek permanent residence in the country. It is estimated by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), that at least 60 percent of international students plan to apply for Canadian permanent residence. The federal Express Entry system can help international students who have studied in Canada, in their application for permanent residence.
The Express Entry manages the pool of immigration candidates for the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Candidates who are trying for Express Entry are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on human capital factors such as age, work experience, language ability, and education. Candidates who score above the cut-off are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence through regular Express Entry draws.
Candidates who have obtained Canadian post-secondary education may receive up to 30 additional points towards their overall score. It was observed that in 2018, 25 percent of those who received ITAs were former international students.
Why do International Students choose Canada?
Canada is reputed to be a tolerant and multicultural society, and the strong quality of education offered by its universities and colleges makes it a preferred destination for international students.
After pursuing education in Canada, international students get additional points under Express Entry, and in many cases, this helps them to become eligible for permanent residence through the many International Graduate streams offered by provinces and territories across the country. These pathways fall under the Provincial Nominee Program and by the province of Quebec through its Quebec Experience Program.
It has been found over the past years that international students who become permanent residents have strong employment and wage outcomes, and are able to contribute positively to Canada’s growing economy.