Visa Crunch

Indians endorse Canada as their preferred study destination despite COVID-19 uncertainty

Various major English language university destinations, which include Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, stay closed due to travel prohibitions and closed borders, even though hundreds of Indian students prepare to begin courses at universities across the world during the fall term of 2021. Despite the post-Covid-19 ambiguity, Canada continues to be the most popular campus destination for Indians. As a matter of fact, the Canadian High Commission in Delhi reported that nearly 100,000 study approvals were granted to international students in the first four months of 2021, a sharp rise from about 66,000 in the first four months of 2020 and about 96,000 in the first four months of 2019.

In general, international students in Canada contribute to the increase in the immigrant population in 2021, putting the country on schedule to reach its annual migration goal. International migration to Canada has managed to recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest study from the Royal Bank of Canada, owing principally to the return of international students and post-graduate work permit owners. However, students are now concerned about the travel ban imposed on Indian travelers in the aftermath of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. “The extended travel ban is wreaking havoc on Indian students. “In the long run, this will hit the Canadian government and its immigration policy,” Hemant Shah, a Winnipeg-based entrepreneur who has held numerous key positions in India-Canada trade and business organizations, said. “Direct flights are not permitted yet, and they must find long and expensive routes to reach Canada to join their classes, which will begin in August-September.” He went on to say that international students from India “form a pool of potential educated immigrants who will join the Canadian workforce.”

The credibility for high-quality education, a culturally diverse and cohesive society, and a student’s opportunity to manage on and off-campus while studying are some of the reasons, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s 2018 international student survey. The strongest reasons, however, are certainly the strong subcontinent connections with India and the post-graduation work permit (PGWP), which offers holders and spouses free provincial healthcare care for the entire length of their permit, among other benefits. Companion spouses of international students can also apply for a work permit.

“The Canadian government has made several policy changes to make studying here more appealing to international students, one of which is the creation of the PGWP, which allows international students who have graduated with a qualification from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation,” stated “Ananya Mukherjee Reed, provost and vice president at Canada’s University of British Columbia. The PGWP rules were extended to an online study by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in February 2021. International students who complete their whole Canadian higher education study online from a foreign country will still be qualified to apply for post-graduation work permits, the Canadian government has stated.

The implication that most Canadian universities have endorsed Indian students amidst the school board exams being postponed or scrapped has been a massive benefit for undergraduate programs.

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