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.

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.

How to Study in Canada Without Leaving Home

With international travel still difficult for much of the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada recently took steps to make it easier for students to begin studying at Canadian colleges and universities via the Internet while still in their home countries. They began by addressing overseas students with questions about how they could obtain a post-graduate work permit after completing their studies.

In regards to the change they made earlier in the year that made it able for students to apply for permits without all of the required paperwork, they reinforced that this is still the case but complete applications will be processed first.

They continued on to explain what is required to have an application pass both the Eligibility and Admissibility stages.

For future updates, be sure to follow the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship on Twitter and the official Canada Campus Visits social media accounts as well.

Canada Remains Committed to International Students

Image Credit: CEA Study Abroad

Sources: The Government of Canada, University World News, Academica Top Ten

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the Fall 2020 semester across Canadian colleges and universities, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been working so international students who were approved to come to the country can still begin their study abroad programs from home.

Travel restrictions were previously eased for students that had already secured study permits. Since then we have seen international students already in Canada be granted the ability to work up to 40 hours each week in order to help them earn more and bolster the numbers of individuals working in essential services.

For students still in the application stage of coming to Canada, IRCC recently announced that they will not turn away students who are unable to provide certain required documents. Recent graduates applying for their work permits are also receiving a similar benefit.

It is clear that the Canadian government values the role that overseas students play in both their economy and culturally diverse society. By working with higher education institutions to re-imagine the study abroad experience, they hope to encourage foreign students to pursue their dreams of seeing the world while furthering their education.

Canada Eases Application Requirements for Post-Study Work Permits

Source: ICEF | Image Credit: GIPHY

Foreign students in Canada hoping to acquire international work experience after their studies received good news recently. Potential applicants now have twice the amount of time to apply for he country’s Post-Graduation Work Permit. The permit makes it possible for international students who have successfully completed a program of at least eight months to remain in Canada for another three years.

While students previously had 90 days to register for the permit, they now have up to six months from the time they get their final course marks. They also don’t need a currently valid study permit to apply. As long as their study permit was valid within the six month period, overseas students can even return to their home country before applying.

Removing The Barriers For International Students To Work and Settle In Canada

Source: Study International | Image Credit: GIPHY

Heading into 2019, Canada continues to witness record breaking numbers of international students applying to its colleges and universities. Thanks to welcoming government policies and the reputation of Canadians being culturally diverse, fewer overseas students are choosing the United States and United Kingdom than in years past.

The Trudeau government recognizes foreign students as potential “immigrants of choice” because they are young and have Canadian academic experience. Canada also sees these students as a way to fill gaps in the labour market and will continue their attempts to attract international students because of this.

Canada King, Global Perceptions Unchanged

Source: The PIE News | Image Credit: GIPHY

A recently published research paper examined the various perceptions that international students had of major English-speaking study abroad destinations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Canada maintained its place as the foreign country students cited as best in terms of visa requirements, affordability, safety and employment opportunities. The number of respondents who said that a lack of friends and family already in Canada would keep them from studying there was also reduced as the reputation of “The Great White North” continues to rise among students globally.

Foreign Students Transforming Canada’s Schools, Immigration

Source: The Globe & Mail | Image Credit: The Tonight Show

While the United States, Great Britain and Australia appear to be becoming less welcoming to international students, Canada continues to improve its reputation as a study abroad destination. Foreign students cite better paying job opportunities in Canada than in their home countries and the inclusive, multicultural society as reasons to study in Canada.

More than 500,000 international students will be studying in Canada this year. Tuition rates more affordable than competing countries and rules that allow foreign students to work while studying continue to attract overseas students to the country. With the number of international students around the world expected to surpass 10 million in the next decade, the Canadian government plans on changing their polices to bring in even more students from around the world.

Where Are American Visa Rejects Heading?

Source: Our Cartoon President, Study International

The popular American H-1B visa program has become increasingly unappealing to international students during the reign of the Trump administration. This is due to mounting restrictions and higher rejection rates witnessed by students in recent years.

America’s loss is proving to be Canada’s gain though. Overseas students see Canada as having an immigration policy that is more welcoming to newcomers. They are also aware that the paths to achieving a work permit or Canadian citizenship are easier to navigate than the systems employed by the US. These factors, in addition to the Canadian government announcing the Student Direct Stream to accelerate the application process for students, Canada continues to improve its reputation as an international education destination.