The number of Indian students to be granted a study permit by Canada’s immigration agency, exceeded one lakh for the second consecutive year. In 2019, Canada approved of a little over than 4 lakh study permits of which 1.39 lakh or 34.5% went to Indian students, followed by Chinese who bagged 21% of the new study permits.

In 2018, Canada had granted a total of 3.55 lakh study permits — the newly released figures for 2019 signify an overall increase of 13.8% over the previous year.

An analysis of the past three years shows that while the number of Chinese students to be granted a study permit has shown a miniscule decline, the inflow of students from India is steadily on the rise. The number of Chinese students to be granted study permits in 2019, at 84,710 was slightly lower than the previous year’s figure of 85,165.

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In contrast the number of Indian students to be granted a study permit has increased by 30.3% to 1.39 lakh, over the previous year’s figure of 1.07 lakh. With just 82,990 permits granted to Indian students in 2017, it reflects a 68.3% increase over two years.

Canada is increasingly attracting more foreign students. This can be attributed to various factors such as uncertainties relating to optional training programmes (OPT) for international students in US — some of these issues were settled via court intervention. Post completion of US studies there are also challenges in obtaining an H-1B visa (the most commonly used work visa) for those at the entry level.

Karan Gupta, a study abroad career counsellor, said, “If a student studies in Canada he or she is more likely to land a wellpaying job and settle down in the country. This is the primary reason for the numbers going up.” He added that the country is perceived to be safe and welcoming of foreigners. “The country also has some world-renowned universities such as the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and McGill university and students are keen to attend these universities,” said Gupta. With the UK now offering a two-year work permit to students from next year, some students who were considering Canada may now consider UK, he added.

Canada permits students to work part-time and fund their studies and a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is available for a maximum of up to three years (based on the study course). The Canadian education and work experience, also helps garner higher points under the Express Entry route, if the erstwhile student wishes to obtain permanent residency. To top it all, job opportunities in the technology space are increasing in Canada. “Education is a by-product of the desire to get a livelihood. Students are seeing Canada as an easier option for migration,” said KP Singh, CEO of Institute of Management and Foreign Studies.


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