Canada grants 1.39 lakh study permits to Indian students in 2019
The number of Indian students to be granted a study permit by Canada’s immigration agency, exceeded one lakh for the second consecutive year.
In 2019, Canada approved of a little over than 4 lakh study permits of which 1.39 lakh or 34.5% went to Indian students, followed by Chinese who bagged 21% of the new study
permits. In 2018, Canada had granted a total of 3.55 lakh study permits – the newly released figures for 2019 signify an overall increase of 13.8% over the previous year.
An analysis of the past three years shows that while the number of Chinese students to be granted a study permit has shown a miniscule decline, the inflow of students from India is steadily on the rise. The number of Chinese students to be granted study permits in 2019, at 84,710 was slightly lower than the previous year’s figure of 85,165. In contrast the number of Indian students to be granted a study permit has increased by 30.3% to 1.39 lakh, over the previous year’s figure of 1.07 lakh. With just 82,990 permits granted to Indian students in 2017, it reflects a 68.3% increase over two years.Canada is increasingly attracting more foreign students. This can be attributed to various factors such as uncertainties relating to optional training programs (OPT) for international students in US – some of these issues were settled via court intervention. Post completion of US studies there are also challenges in obtaining an H-1B visa (the most commonly used work visa) for those at the entry level.
Karan Gupta, a study abroad career counsellor, said, “If a student studies in Canada he or she is more likely to land a well-paying job and settle down in the country. This is the primary reason for the numbers going up.” He added that the country is perceived to be save and welcoming of foreigners. “The country also has some world-renowned universities such as the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and McGill university and students are keen to attend these universities,” said Gupta. With the UK now offering a two-year work permit to students from next year, some students who were considering Canada may now consider UK, he added.
Canada permits students to work part-time and fund their studies and a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is available for a maximum of up to three years (based on the study course). The Canadian education and work experience, also helps garner higher points under the Express Entry route, if the erstwhile student wishes to obtain permanent residency. To top it all, job opportunities in the technology space are increasing in Canada.
“Education is a by-product of the desire to get a livelihood. Students are seeing Canada as an easier option for migration,” said KP Singh, CEO of Institute of Management and Foreign Studies. Most serious students are driven by courses in futuristic sciences, biology, engineering and IT. While for many the courses and universities do not matter, the serious ones opt for study options in Toronto and Vancouver,” said Singh. He added that Canada, like Australia, is now promoting their under-developed regions to attract more foreigners.
An immigration attorney admits that the job market is not as vibrant in non-tech segment. He also points out that dubious immigration agents, lure immigrants to Canada on a study visa – whereas these students actually engage in work alone and not studies. The authorities are aware of this issue and are more stringent in issue of student visas.
Study permits are typically required to be obtained by international students in almost all cases, with a few exceptions – such as for a course of a very small duration. It is not a visa, but a document that authorises international students to study at designated educational institutions. It is usually valid for the entire duration of the study course plus and extra 90 days to enable the student to leave Canada or apply for an extension. Canada’s immigration agency – the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), recently released data-sets of study permits based on the year in which these became effective.