International students in Canada who plan to stay in the country after finishing their studies now have another cause to be optimistic about their future prospects.
According to a new Statistics Canada report published on January 18, 2022, the yearly median pay in Canada for post-graduation work permit (PGWP) holders has nearly doubled in a decade. When adjusted for changes in dollar value throughout the decade, the median salary received by PGWP holders climbed from CA$14,500 to 26,800 Canadian dollars between 2008 and 2018.
PGWP holders’ participation in the Canadian labour market remained consistent over the study period, while the number of employers who reported their revenue increased by more than 13 times, from 10,300 to 135,100 between 2008 and 2018. Nearly three-quarters of all PGWP holders during this time period obtained permanent residency within five years of receiving their PGWP.
The PGWP is a one-time, non-extendable work and temporary residency visa that allows international students to work in Canada and stay for up to three years following graduation. It is frequently the initial step toward obtaining permanent residency, for which many holders qualify under Canada’s economic-class immigration programmes.
International students have long been an important source of labour for the Canadian labour market. According to the current data, the optimistic results in transition rates to PR may be influenced by PGWP holders’ accumulated work experience in Canada, which increases their prospects of immigration to Canada. Ever since its inception as a pilot programme in 2003, PGWP has become a major appeal for overseas students looking to study in Canada.
The increase in Canadian-taught graduates over the years has increased the pool of qualified persons to participate in the country’s labour market, assisting Canada in meeting its immigration targets. According to the data, international students from India and China accounted for 66% of all PGWPs awarded in 2018, up from 51% a decade ago.
Within that 10-year period, the proportion of Indian students who earned PGWPs climbed from 10% to 46%, whereas the proportion of Chinese students decreased from 41% to 20%. The annual median wage in Canada among PGWP holders varies by gender, age, and nationality. Throughout the decade investigated, men consistently earned more than women, while senior PGWP holders had the highest yearly median earnings.
Iranians earned the most per country of origin in 2018, followed by PGWP holders from Nigeria and Pakistan. The lowest-paid workers came from China, the United States, and Vietnam, in that order.
Mining and oil and gas extraction produced the greatest annual median income in Canada in 2018, which was mirrored in the utilities and public administration sectors. But at the other end of the scale, persons working in education, administrative and support services, and retail trade earned the least amount of PGWP in the same year.
According to the survey, this substantial discrepancy across sectors is consistent with the general tendency among all Canadian workers. Whereas these statistics indicate favourable prospects for international students in Canada, obtaining a PGWP in the first place may be difficult at the moment.
The government is grappling with a significant backlog of about two million immigration-related applications, which is causing months to years of delay for many people who are unsure of their legal status.
Considering the backlog, Statistics Canada indicated that three out of every ten international students who entered Canada after 2000 obtained permanent residency status within a decade after receiving their study permit.
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