The pathway clear to Canada & USA

Attractive destination

Education institutions and the different levels of government are now working closely to help international students with Canadian credentials apply for permanent residency in Canada, if they wish to do so.

Typically, half of the international post-secondary students studying in Canada submit requests for permanent residency after graduation. Through the help of programmes like the ‘Canadian Experience Class’ and the ‘Provincial Nominee Programmes’, about 86 per cent of these applications are approved.

The ‘Canadian Experience Class’ is a federal programme directly targeting international students’ transition to permanent residency. Introduced in 2008, the Canadian Experience Class allows international students to make an easier transition to permanent residency. As a result, post-secondary institutions are now key factors in Canada’s immigration system. The federal government projects granting permanent residency to up to 25,000 immigrants a year (for both international students and temporary foreign workers) by 2014.

Attracting international students to Canada is a priority at all levels of the government and educational institutions. International students contribute approximately C$6.5 billion (US$6.4 billion) to the Canadian economy not to mention intangibles to which a price tag cannot be placed such as skills, innovation and diversification.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), students are currently an immigration priority and there has been a shift in thinking from “temporary residents, to a pool of highly-qualified permanent residents.” In Canada, where immigration will soon account for all net population growth, and where a majority of new jobs will require a post-secondary education, new immigration strategies that attempt to leverage and harness the skills of international students are being implemented.

Naomi Alboim, Maytree Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, has noted that immigration policy shifts in Canada have been made with student migration in mind, based on the assumption that international students will be able to avoid those barriers regularly encountered by highly-skilled immigrants, by virtue of their Canadian education, language skills and work experience.

Preliminary research suggests that immigrants with former international student status can also lead to better economic outcomes. Immigrants with previous Canadian education and work experience earn approximately C$12,000 more per year than skilled workers without work or educational experience in Canada.

For international students, there are a number of important factors behind the decision to remain in Canada. In a recent Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) survey of international students in Canada, half of surveyed university students and three-quarters of college students chose Canada as a study destination because of post-graduate work opportunities, and 51 per cent of university students and 57 per cent of college students planned to pursue permanent residency.

If you are interested in furthering your studies in Canada by becoming a foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution and gaining at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada under the proper work or study authorisation, you are on the right path toward becoming a Canadian. If you need more information or have queries regarding student visas, visit

(The author is a Canadian Immigration Consultant from Migration Expert, Canada)

International student admissions rising

Graduate schools in America have been admitting international students at the fastest pace in over five years, climbing 11 per cent over the last year, according to a recent report released by the Council of Graduate Schools. After the 9/11 attacks, foreign student admissions dropped drastically and the recovery from this sharp dip took several years.

The increase in admissions for 2011 is the steepest one-year increase since the fall of 2006 and is being welcomed by American campuses nationwide. “It is people voting with their feet and with their pocketbooks,” said Patrick S Osmer, Chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors.

Nathan E Bell, Director of Research and Policy Analysis at the graduate-schools group, said the findings suggest that American institutions will “almost certainly” see an increase in overseas enrolments this fall. Enrolment statistics are typically tracked within a couple of percentage points of offers of admission.

Much of this growth can be attributed to a 23 per cent expansion in offers of admission to prospective students from China. Offers to students from the Middle East and Turkey also rose, by 16 per cent over 2010.

India trails China as the largest source of international students to the United States, where offers to students from India also jumped, by 8 per cent since the fall of 2007.
While Indian students are heavily represented in Master’s-level programmes, offers of admission to Indian students had fallen in recent years, declining by 5 per cent in 2010 and 14 per cent in 2009. Responding to the drop in numbers, Karen L Butler-Purry, Associate Vice President for graduate studies at Texas A&M University, said Indian-student enrolments had dropped after the university eliminated tuition benefits for many Masters-degree courses.

Admissions offers grew especially at institutions like Ohio State University that enrol a large number of foreign graduate students. At the 10 graduate schools that award the largest number of degrees to international students, offers rose by 13 per cent.

Increases in international offers of admission occurred in all diverse fields of study in 2011, with the largest growth in programmes in Business, at 16 per cent, and in Physical and Earth Sciences, at 15 per cent.

The recent surge in offers of admission, suggests that the immigration tide is shifting towards a focus on graduate and post-graduate international students to become the next wave of immigrants that will take American into the 21st century. For more information regarding student visas, visit

(The author is an Immigration Lawyer from Migration Expert, USA)

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