The country is an attractive destination for international students, especially those from India. Nearly 1.39 lakh study permits (34.5% of the total) were allotted to Indian students during 2019, making them the highest contingent of international students.
The newly introduced norms provide for priority processing of study-permits for international students, who have submitted a complete application online, before September 15. According to a note issued by ‘Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’ (IRCC), as soon as international students receive an in-principle approval, they can count the time spent studying online abroad (say in their home country), towards their post-graduation work permit (PGWP).
TOI, in its edition of May 17, has covered the earlier announcement, which provided that international students undertaking online courses will be eligible for the PGWP, which is available for up to three years.
In normal circumstances, the time spent studying outside Canada is deducted from the length of the work permit for which international students would otherwise be eligible – given the pandemic, this rule had been relaxed.
Priority processing of study-permits, followed by an in-principle approval, will reassure international students that they can enrol and begin their online-studies for the coming fall semester, even though they are not able to submit all required documentation due to pandemic-related closures, states IRCC’s note.
It adds that, as services begin to reopen, the applicants (international students) will be required to submit their remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada.
Marco E L Mendicino, Canada’s immigration minister, said, “The pandemic has had a significant impact on international students and the Canadian institutions and communities that host them. This is why we have implemented a series of measures to support them. We value the contribution of young people seeking a high-quality education in Canada, and we’re making every effort to minimize how current challenges affect their plans and dreams for the future.”
Immigration experts hold that given the increasing protectionist regime in the US, a larger number of international students are opting for studies in Canada. The PGWP, not only offers a work experience, but provides additional points and boosts the score under the Express-Entry route, if the student opts for permanent residency, at a later stage.