The Government of Canada has announced plans to welcome some 1,233,000 new permanent residents to Canada between 2021 and 2023, which University Canada says will be a good indication for international students.
Immigrant Refugees and Citizenship Canada have released the targets after announcing the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration for 2020.
In the study, Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said that immigrants “out of proportion” enrich Canada. Without including the sacrifices of arrivals, no accounting of the country’s development over the last century and a half is complete.
Canada now plans to accept 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. A target that stakeholders have said would be partially accomplished after their studies by international students staying in the region.
Wendy Therrien, director of research and external affairs at Universities Canada, said: “These recently released immigration targets are a positive indication to foreign students that Canada is willing to welcome qualified talent from across the globe.”
“If they want to remain in Canada after their studies, graduates of Canadian universities can benefit from direct government paths to immigration,” she said.
A research permit is one of Canada’s key gates, explained Cosmina Morariu, senior management of Fragomen, a major law firm concerned with immigration services. It encourages students to come and study and then get a post-graduate work permit after completing their studies, an open, very flexible permit that enables you to work at any position in Canada with any employer.
International students will have this permit for a limited term of three years, so it’s quite handy. You will apply for permanent residency the moment you have one year of employment in Canada. Morariu clarified that a large part of the goals of the IRCC would be students who applied for permanent residency after spending a year on a post-graduate work permit.
IRCC data offers a breakdown of what types of refugees the nation hopes to welcome. Economic immigrants represent the main group, with targets now set to carry 723,500 of this group into the nation between 2021 and 2023.
The economic immigrant community is split into six groups, including Federal High Skilled, Federal Sector, Economic Pilots: Caregivers, Agri-Food Pilot, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, Regional Candidate Program, and Skilled Workers and Business in Quebec.
International students are expected to play a crucial role in accomplishing their immigration goals by the government between 2021 and 2023.
Morariu said that the government’s proposals are “ambitious” to welcome too many permanent residents, but “doable if you prioritize students.”
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Is Canada Attractive to International Students?
Yes. If you look at the figures, and the Canadian government has a website where it publishes the number of applications it receives for students, staff, permanent residents, and how many have been awarded, you saw more than 400,000 student applications alone last year.
Most students come from India, China, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, and now also from the US, with a rise. For 2020, the figures are a little smaller, but looking back at 2015, they almost doubled until 2019.
“I think we’re going to have more individuals applying for research permits, so getting your foot in the door and applying for permanent residency is convenient,” she said.
Sonja Knutson, director of the Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Internationalization Office, said that Canada’s international education policy has been successful primarily because of its reputation for clear immigration routes, openness to different communities, and understanding a “two-way street” is responding to formation theory.
Canadian Immigration During COVID-19
While admission targets are growing, Canada is experiencing a drop in the number of new permanents landing in the country in 2020. There were 64 per cent fewer new permanent residents admitted in August, compared to August 2019. This is partially due to the number of people who were approved for permanent residence but were unable to travel to Canada before their immigration documents expired due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions and other disruptions.
Public support for immigration in Canada has increased over the course of the pandemic. By a five-to-one margin, Canadians report that immigration makes Canada a better country, and they are more likely to say this is because it makes for a more diverse and multicultural place to live. Another survey by the Association of Canadian Studies found that Canadians generally see immigration as positive for long-term economic recovery, but they want to see family members given priority for immigration.
The immigration announcement does not yet provide details on the immediate impact on international students, we hope the news will improve the recruitment of international students as students and their parents continue to see Canada as a healthy and welcoming place.