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Government Announces 5 Year Strategy and $29 Million to Attract International Students to Canada

Last Thursday, the government of Canada announced a new International Education Strategy with the goal of boosting its current education sector and labour force. Over the next five years, this strategy will allocate $29 million on attracting more foreign students to programs and schools across Canada.

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Expanding Globally to Find Best & Brightest

The plan seeks to grow the number of students coming from a wider range of countries including Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, France, and the Ukraine. The strategy will also focus on encouraging international enrollment to schools outside of Canada’s major cities, as well as education in French and programs that generally attract fewer students. 

As stated by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, “ensuring that Canada attracts the best and the brightest students while having the tools to better protect students and maintain program integrity is paramount to the success of this strategy.”

Making Application Process Easier for Foreign Students

Currently available to students in China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and, recently, Pakistan, the strategy proposes to expand the Student Direct Stream (SDS) to even more countries in the coming years. The SDS was launched last year to help expedite the study permit application process for eligible international students. The SDS makes the international study experience faster and more efficient for students coming from these popular sending countries.

The IRCC also plans to update its immigrtion forms and processes, to make it easier for those wanting to visit, study, work or stay in Canada. These improvements will allow applicants to receive decisions more promptly, as well as increase the quality of applications. 

Immigration Options After Graduating

Ease of obtaining a student visa and lower cost of tuition and living are just some factors contributing toCanadas yearly increase in international students. In 2018, there were over half a million foreign students in Canada. Nearly 54,000 students became Canadian permanent residents in that same year! 

After completing their studies at a Canadian university, international students are able to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The open-work permit allows recent graduates to live and work in Canada for up to three years. Having a Canadian education and work experience are two major requirements of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) of the Federal  Express Entry system, making it a great option for those who want to become a permanent resident of Canada! 

Canada’s federal government recognizes the benefits that international students bring to the country. We anticipate the International Education Strategy to continue working to make Canada a great place to study, as well as a welcoming place to call home.


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