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  • 11 Jul 2021 8:59 PM | Anonymous

    Submitted by World Gates...

    Due to COVID-19, 2020 saw a steep decline of student immigration into Canada. According to IRCC data, 222,656 study permits were approved in 2019. In 2020, that number dropped to 57,365. The data for 2021 is not yet released. However, based on what we are seeing in the industry, we fully expect the numbers to recover significantly. This is because the Canadian government is finally easing travel restrictions to Canada for vaccinated international students, campuses are preparing to re-open this fall by investing in COVID-19 readiness plans, and student interest in Canada as a destination of choice remains at an all-time high.

    Indeed, even in 2020, despite extreme restrictions in travel, immigration, and access to in-person instruction, several thousands of students across the world still applied for a Canadian study permit. Refer to the chart below for the number of study permit applications submitted to IRCC in 2020 from the top 15 countries.

    Nevertheless, challenges remain. For example, flights from India are suspended until July 21, 2021. It remains to be seen whether the suspension will be extended beyond July 21 as concerns about the Delta variant are ongoing. Another challenge is that processing times for study permit applications remain long. At present IRCC does not provide a specific deadline for Study Permit applications but does provide an estimated processing time which is between 3-5 months. For example, international students who wished to begin their studies in Fall of 2021 were advised to submit their application by May 15th. These students are expected to receive their decision by August 6th, 2021, according to the most recent IRCC guidelines. However, IRCC has given this date with the assumption that the student has submitted an accurate and complete study permit application. Students should note that a successful study permit application can take several weeks to prepare before one is ready for submission.

    2021-22 looks better than 2020, but the gains are still tentative, and challenges remain. However, BCCCA membership should be encouraged that student immigration in Canada is trending in the right direction. Schools who are on top of the changes in this landscape and who best prepared for an eventual re-opening will be situated to take advantage of what will surely be a huge influx of international students in 2022.

  • 11 Jul 2021 8:57 PM | Anonymous

    From the "

    “We look forward to welcoming international students back to our campuses across Canada once it is safe to do so,” said Mary Ng, minister for international trade, in a statement during a recent PIE webinar.

    “Our government is dedicating resources to ensuring study permit processing for as many students as possible in time for the fall semester.”

    “Our government is dedicating resources to ensuring study permit processing for as many students as possible”

    On the subject of the new pathway to permanent residency for international students already in Canada, Ng said the pathway was “a key pillar in our government’s commitment to welcoming more than 400,000 new permanent residents each year going forward, the highest commitment to increasing immigration in Canada’s history”.

    Canada’s ability to meet its immigration targets last year were severely hampered by the pandemic.

    In October, the government said it plans to attract more than 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years to the country of just over 38 million people, in part due to Canada’s low birth rate.

    According to a recent Navitas survey, Canada is the number one choice for agencies ahead of the UK, despite the issues some students have had with processing applications.

    “The postgraduate work and the permanent residency streams [are] absolutely critical for all the universities and colleges in parts of Canada that are outside of Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver. We really need these students,” said Sonja Knutson, director of the internationalisation office at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

    “And we’ve been really grateful for the postgraduate work permit flexibility. But one of the big challenges [has been] with IRCC and the fact that their processes rely on third parties.

    “One of the big challenges [has been] with IRCC and the fact that their processes rely on third parties”

    “Biometrics and English proficiency exams haven’t necessarily been open, but also a lot of their processes, especially in some countries, are more in-person.”

    While there has been some pushback on the immigration plans – economists have questioned the logic of increased immigration during a time of high unemployment and issues around the lack of desire among recent arrivals to live outside major hubs like Toronto and Vancouver – universities, including regional universities, have welcomed the news.

    They are also pushing for more accommodation for international students when it comes to obtaining work experience.

    “We’ve really shifted our focus in the last five years or so to preparing international students for the Canadian workplace and making sure that they’re able to access both on campus and off campus employment opportunities in an equitable way,” said Rummana Khan, vice provost and associate vice president, students and international, Simon Fraser University.

    “I think we all need to think about this. We have students that are going to be arriving for the first time in Canada who have been our students for some time now or studying remotely, whose access to employment opportunities have just shrunk.

    “We’re going to need to work with everybody across the sector. This is where organisations, institutions, the government can really come together to say, what are we going to do to ramp up both preparation but also employment opportunities for international students that are arriving late in their programs and need to get some Canadian work experience.”

The BC Career Colleges Association was established in 1977 to promote and support post secondary schools, stakeholders, students and all interested parties involved in private post-secondary education and training in BC.

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