Canada attracts international students at all levels of its education system. The concentration remains on admissions to colleges and universities. And Canada remains a popular option even during Corona.

Canada remained the fourth most popular country for international enrollment in educational institutions in 2019. The US, UK, and China followed it.  Over the last decade, the total number of international student enrollment has increased rapidly, and in 2019, it was over 640,000. The top source countries include India, China, and South Korea. Even between January and April 2020, about 67,000 international students arrived to study in Canada amidst the Corona pandemic.

In contrast, the US is experiencing a decline in international student enrollment over the past few years. The number is set to decrease even more due to the pandemic. So what makes Canada safer and more accessible for international students even at the time of Covid-19? The Canadian policy during this pandemic is significant. Alongside this, the core advantages of the education environment are essential in this aspect.

What is the Canadian government policy for permitting international students?

Till now, the Canadian government is allowing international students to enter the country. But there are some specifications. For entering the country as an international student, the candidates must either possess a valid study permit. In the absence of it, they must have a document of approval signed on or before March 18, 2020.

Given that the candidates meet this requirement, existing travel restrictions do not apply to them. However, students will have to go through medical tests and compulsory quarantine. Thanks to this policy, the eligible students can make their way to Canadian universities. They need not worry about their expiring study permits.

Why is Canada popular for international students?

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) conducted a student survey in 2018. Many international students choose Canada as a study destination. This is mainly because of the quality of the Canadian education system. The country’s reputation as a “tolerant and non-discriminatory society” also proves beneficial. Above all, Canada is a “safe country”. This survey shows that  96% of international students had recommended Canada for higher education. 60% of the global student population want a permanent residence in Canada.

This is probably because of Canada’s international student policy and the advantages that it provides.

  • Canadian schools, colleges, and universities offer a variety of study programs. There are language schools as well as student exchange programs. The country provides options for studying in French or English, or even in bilingual. The education sector is full of diversity. It plays an integral part in its exposure to global students from all fields and specializations.
  • According to Educanada, the tuition fees in post-secondary education in Canadian institutes are low. Generally, they are lower than that of the US, UK, and Australia. However, the cost varies in accordance with colleges and universities and the study programs. Several institutes offer scholarship fundings for international students. Global Affairs Canada and other Canadian federal government departments have taken charge. They have organized several fellowships and scholarship opportunities for students. They also cover postdoctoral research, faculty and researchers, and academic institution awards. There are fully-funded scholarships for students from some specific countries. Different scholarships for short-term exchange programs, online study scholarships. Fellowships for research projects, and many more.
  • The Canadian government issues study permits for those non-resident students who want to study in Canada for more than 6 months. It allows foreign nationals to study in Canada but only in designated learning institutions. Along with the study permit, the government also issues visitor visas or an eTA that allows the non-resident students to enter the country. It usually covers the whole period of the registered study program and an extra 90 days. The study permit can also be extended.
  • The Canadian government also offers temporary work permits for international students and their respective partners. It allows working on-campus, working off-campus, or even working as a co-op student or intern. The PGWP or Post-graduation Work Permit allows graduates of certain institutions certain work hours. Like they can work even after their study program is complete. It also offers them the option to stay and work in Canada permanently.

Canada is one of the best countries when it comes to smooth permanent residentship and immigration. The international students have the freedom to renew their study permit and their partner’s temporary resident visa. After that, they can apply for permanent resident status and become a Canadian citizen.

Currently, the global economy, as well as education, is experiencing a heavy blow. But Canada has got it covered. Its favourable international student policy is impressive. Their immigration procedure for students is attracting the attention of the global student population. The country is providing the global student community with options like no other country. At the same time, they are making the country safe by taking measures to curb Covid-19. They are ensuring economic resilience. Thanks to all of these. The international student community is still considering Canada as a safe and popular option for studies.  

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