Canadian Immigration News

Is Canada the Top Destination for International Students?

1.7 minute read
Recent research conducted by IDP Connect, a UK-based data-driven organization revealed that a majority of international students are choosing Canada as their top choice for international study.
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 3, 2021
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Recent research conducted by IDP Connect, a UK-based data-driven organization revealed that a majority of international students are choosing Canada as their top choice for international study. 

The study surveyed 4,000 international students from 20 countries. The results showed that almost 60% of the students interested in studying in Canada were fully vaccinated and another 33% will get their vaccinations soon. 

Why Is Canada a Favorite Destination for International Students?

According to Statistics Canada, enrollment of international students fell by nearly 17% in 2020 due to the global pandemic. International students contributed almost $22 billion to the Canadian economy in 2018 and were employed in around 170,000 jobs in 2016. International students are imperative in ensuring the growth and sustainability of the Canadian economy. 

The study also revealed that 83% of international students are waiting for Canada to lift its mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement before coming to Canada. 

The Canadian government introduced many policies to help international students during the pandemic. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allowed foreign students who completed 100% of their study program online to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The IRCC also issued extensions for expiring PGWPs for the first time. 

The study found that this accommodating attitude of the Canadian government and its clear vaccination and quarantine policies have made it a favorable destination for almost 71% of international students. 

The majority of international students in Canada come from East India. East Indians represent almost 30% of all international students' enrollments in Canada. However, the Canadian government recently extended the direct flight ban from India until August 21, 2021. Travelers from India can still come to Canada if they take an indirect route. Fortunately, the IRCC has allowed international students to begin their study programs online if they are unable to travel to Canada before the start date of their programs.

What Can Canada Do to Better Accommodate International Students?

The biggest barrier currently faced by many international students is uncertainty about when they will be able to transition from online classes to in-person classes. Every Canadian university has a different plan to begin their in-person classes again.

The study also noted that around 74% of international students feel that vaccine availability upon arrival will make study in Canada more attractive.

A majority of international students apply for Canadian permanent residence eventually. They make up one-third of the Canadian labor market. Since Canada is planning to invite over 401,000 new immigrants in 2021, international students will play a key role in achieving that target.

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