Canada Adds Seven More Countries to Student Direct Stream for Faster Study Permit Processing

Source: Government of Canada

Canada introduced their Student Direct Stream (SDS) in 2018 in order to process study permit applications from certain countries faster. At the time, international students from only China, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines were eligible. A year later Morocco, Pakistan, and Senegal were added to the list. Seven more countries were added to the list recently bringing the total to 14.

Students applying through the SDS are asked to provide extra information when they apply. This enables officers to better assess their application and process it faster than a non-SDS application.

In 2019, Canada issued 16,000 study permits to students from the newly eligible countries. In fact Brazil and Columbia were responsible for 10,000 and 4,400 respectively.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino said, “By expanding the Student Direct Stream to a more diverse range of prospective students, we have great optimism that international education will recover, and indeed flourish, as Canada emerges from the pandemic.”

British Columbia Colleges and Universities Planning to Return to Campus as Guidelines Announced

Source: CBC News, the Government of British Columbia

As more Canadians get vaccinated to receive increased protection against the coronavirus, higher education institutions across the province of British Columbia are planning to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to their campuses for the Fall 2021 semester.

The provincial government is on track to remove the majority of their COVID-19 restrictions by early September. This means that schools will no longer need to have specific plans for how to handle potential COVID outbreaks. They will also be able to host students in residency without any limits on occupancy. Classes will be taught in person and masks will not be mandated as campuses all expect to return to what they were like before the pandemic.

This is wonderful news to those looking to regain a sense of normalcy after the last year and a half. However it is understandable that some individuals may be hesitant about physically returning to class. President of Camosun College Sherri Bell stated, “While some people may be a little nervous as well as excited, the health, safety and well-being of employees, students and campus visitors remains the priority.”

Colleges and Universities in Manitoba Will Not Require COVID-19 Vaccinations

Source: CBC News

With a number of Ontario universities deciding to make COVID-19 vaccines a requirement for students planning to live on residence next semester, things are developing differently in the province to the west. Some universities and colleges in Manitoba are stating that vaccinations will not be mandatory for students or faculty returning to campus.

The institutions listed below say that while those coming to campus in the Fall are encouraged to get the necessary doses of their vaccine, they do not believe forcing people to do so is within their power.

  • Assiniboine Community College
  • Brandon University
  • Red River College
  • University College of the North

While reaction to this news has been mixed, other Canadian colleges and universities are taking a similar approach and not making vaccinations a requirement:

As regulations continue to take shape across different parts of Canada, we at Canada Campus Visits will continue to keep you updated on what both international and domestic students need to know before returning to in-person learning later this year.

Mandatory Vaccines a Possibility for Canadian Higher Education

Source: The PIE, Academica Group

While COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been deemed required by every designated learning institution in Canada, recent decisions may indicate that such a measure may be incoming.

Fanshawe College, Trent University, Western University, and Ryerson University have all declared that students living in residence must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before they are allowed entry. Meanwhile the University of Toronto will require students to be vaccinated within two weeks of moving in.

International students who have been unable to receive a vaccination in their home country will have access to vaccines approved by Health Canada and can receive one anywhere in the country at no cost.

With an increased infection rate among younger people, vaccines will help students have a more typical student residence experience. They deserve to feel safe as they interact and grow as a part of the campus community. We will continue to monitor what steps other higher learning institutions take in the weeks to come.

International Student Destinations in Ontario That Aren’t Toronto

Source: Study International

When asked what the most populated city in Canada is, most international students will correctly say Toronto. With a number of universities and college campuses located in the city it’s easy to see why they would also consider Toronto a top study abroad destination. However if a busy metropolis isn’t quite your style there are other places in the province of Ontario you might want to call home while you complete your overseas education.

Southwest of Toronto are the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge; collectively known as KWC. Home to institutions like Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, students from around the world are choosing this area for the opportunity to earn a world-class education. Colleges in the region, like Conestoga College, are also witnessing a rise in foreign learners on their campuses as well.

Moving east across the province, Kingston is also hosting more study permit holders than in years past. The number of international students in the city is ten times what it was just three years ago. St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University both have growing international programs and deserve a look from potential future students.

Whether students are considering Kingston, the KWC region or other cities like St. Catherine’s or Sudbury, it is important to know about emerging study abroad destinations. More options becoming available increases the likelihood of students finding an environment that they feel comfortable in. With so many top-tier institutions found around the province, Ontario is showing that they have more places than just Toronto where students can call home.

New Pathway to Permanent Residency for International Graduates in Canada

Source: Government of Canada

Encouraging news was just announced for recent overseas students in Canada hoping to apply for permanent residency. Starting on May 6, 2021, those who possess the skills necessary to strengthen the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for permanent status under a new stream.

Currently employed international graduates who have completed an eligible program at a Canadian post-secondary institution no earlier than January 2017 are welcome to apply. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada will accept 40,000 applications through this stream. Otherwise, it is expected to remain open until November 5, 2021.

In an effort to promote the official languages of Canada, English & French, an additional stream with no limit cap was also announced for Francophone and bilingual graduates.

The Government of Canada is working to show that they value the contributions of foreign students. Not only do they impact the economy but they help shape the multicultural society that Canadians cherish. These new immigration streams will hopefully encourage international talent to make their stay in Canada a permanent one and drive the country forward for years to come.

Microsoft Adds New Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions to Digital Skills Program

Source: Microsoft News Centre Canada

Microsoft Canada launched their Canada Skills Program in Fall 2020 to help college and university students develop in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data, and Cloud software. They recently announced that the program will extend its reach to eight additional higher education institutions, bringing the total to 20 across the country.

Due to the growth of the innovation economy, 149 million new jobs are expected to be created in Canada by 2025. The Canada Skills Program aims to help learners develop their digital expertise and in six months has begun to do just that. 20,000 students have participated in the program so far with thousands more to come with certifications now available at:

man sitting on a green grass field

Relief for International Students As Canada Extends Work Permits Due to COVID-19

Beginning January 27, foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or soon-to-be-expired post-graduation work permit can apply for an 18-month extension

In a recent media release for the University of Toronto, author Yanan Wang interviewed Nana Sakyi, an international student from Ghana who recently completed a master’s degree in Canada. The article, dated January 27 2021, shed light on the apprehensions and nervousness of several International students like Sakyi, following a global pandemic that brought the world to a halt. 

In addition to health risks posed by the novel coronavirus, for international students the last several months were particularly uncertain because of the possibility that their work permits would run out before they find employment, putting their immigration status at risk.

Luckily, in an effort to ease the strain on international students who are graduating from post-secondary institutions amid the pandemic, the federal government recently announced a plan that will give them more time to find work. Foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or soon-to-be-expired post-graduation work permit can currently apply for an 18-month extension.

The policy seeks to help foreign nationals who are currently in Canada meet the requisite work hours to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

“The work permit extension gives international graduates another year and a half to contribute to the Canadian workforce. That’s a huge benefit to Canada and the individual students who wish to take it up,” said Katherine Beaumont, senior director of global learning opportunities and international student success at U of T’s Centre for International Experience (CIE).

Beaumont added that the centre plans to make more international students aware of the new policy through alumni newsletters and the university’s career development resources. In response to a growing international student population and an increased need for guidance and advice on the documentation required to be an international student in Canada, U of T has increased the number of certificated international student immigration advisers based at CIE.  As a result, CIE has been able to increase immigration advising to students by a factor of four since the pandemic began – all while adding new ways to serve students, including online and phone appointments, webinars and drop-ins.

 “A lot of international students were very, very happy about this policy because this gives them the time to work towards starting the permanent residence process,” said Pooja Gupta, who earned her engineering master’s degree last year from U of T’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and serves as president of the school’s International Students’ Council.

“Canada’s immigration policies are what gives the country an edge in terms of attracting talent.”

Source: University of Toronto

focused men with notebooks at table

Past International Students in Canada Now Eligible for New Open Work Permit

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, international students who have recently graduated now face a difficult situation if they hold a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). For these new graduates to apply for permanent residence in Canada, they are required to work a certain number of hours to gain experience. However with lockdown measures in place throughout so many communities, this is difficult to accomplish before the deadline.

The Government of Canada has acted to help international students by giving current and former PGWP holders the chance to apply for an open work permit that will be valid for 18 months. This decision aims to assist overseas students who either held or still hold a PGWP by letting them continue their job search in these uncertain times. Foreign nationals will be able to apply from January 27 to July 27, 2021.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino said, “Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”

In 2019, an excess of 58,000 graduates applied to immigrate to Canada and the government seeks to increase this number further in the years to come. It values study abroad students as not just new contributors to the economy but skilled immigrants who, with their top-tier Canadian education and work experience, can help the nation return to strength post-pandemic.

Canada Emerges As the Preferred Destination for International MBA Programs

Institutions offering MBA programs in Canada have witnessed a surge in applications as international students look beyond the United States for their MBA. Asian and Latin-American students have shown a preference for alternatives. 50% of those surveyed stated Canada as their choice, up from 38% last year.

“We’re seeing candidates who would have historically checked out Ivy League colleges within the U.S. up to now,” mentioned Teresa Pires, Affiliate Director of recruitment and admissions for the MBA program of Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. “As a result of it could be tougher to remain within the U.S., securing everlasting residency, job safety, they only really feel prefer it’s a safer guess right here.”

Reports suggests U.S.-based MBA programmes had already witnessed a 14% drop in foreign students before the pandemic. Some of the factors like high cost of tuition and changing immigration policies together caused this depreciation. Now, many aspirants have deferred their MBA admissions by a year rather than attend classes completely or partially online due to the pandemic. Students favour Canada for its guaranteed work permit that allows them to work for any Canadian employer, as against the highly restrictive work permits of the U.S.

Joseph Milner, Vice Dean of MBA packages on the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, mentioned its home functions elevated this 12 months, partly due to Canadian college students’ willingness to remain nearer to home. He additionally mentioned abroad functions for its 2021 admissions cycle have been surging as many potential college students favour the nation’s assured work allow in contrast with the U.S. scholar visa system. They allow permits worldwide graduates to work for any Canadian employer with out the requirement of a job provide on the time of making use of.

“During the last three to four years, U.S. immigration coverage has made Canada a spot individuals need to come,” Mr. Milner mentioned.

Source: Wall Street Journal