Visa Crunch

An increasing number of overseas students are obtaining Canadian citizenship.

International students are increasingly opting to study in Canada, and the government of Canada sees them as a viable supply of labour.

Between 2000 and 2019, the number of study permit holders grew from 122,700 to 642,500, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Within ten years of getting their initial study visa, three out of ten overseas students who came in Canada after 2000 converted to permanent status. According to a Statistics Canada study, half of master’s degree students and six out of ten doctorate degree students made the transfer within the same time frame.

International graduates who pursued post-secondary education outside of a university setting are of particular relevance. When compared to those who originally enrolled between 2000 and 2004, the number of international graduates who became permanent residents more than quadrupled between 2010 and 2014. This might indicate that a growing number of overseas students are flocking to Canada to seek post-secondary education in the hopes of becoming permanent citizens. It may be simpler to get into non-university post-secondary programmes than university ones.

Nearly half (46%) of international students coming from India who received their initial study visa between 2010 and 2014 became permanent residents within five years, the highest percentage of any country. Nigeria comes in second with 30% and Vietnam comes in third with 21%.International student graduates who worked throughout their studies or after graduation were more likely to become permanent residents (60%) than those who did not.

Furthermore, individuals with higher-paying occupations were more likely to remain in the country permanently. 87 percent of individuals who obtained their initial study visa between 2005 and 2009 and earned a salary of $50,000 or more went on to become permanent citizens. Only 46% of individuals earning less than $20,000 per year completed the shift.

Looking at the statistics as a whole, it appears that having Canadian work experience and higher-paying employment are the most powerful motivators for overseas graduates to decide to stay in Canada permanently.

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