Study Finds That 30% of International Students in Canada Get Permanent Residence Within 10 years

By Remitbee - Oct 17, 2022

A study finds that only 30% of international students in Canada get permanent residence within 10 years

In the past decade, there's been a 500% increase in the number of student permit holders in Canada. International students became the country's largest source of immigrants and skilled workers within that period.

As Canada's International Education strategy puts it, these students are young and academically qualified to migrate to Canada. Skilled workers and labourers of this calibre are unquestionably needed in Canada.

For this reason, the government must offer these students various opportunities.

30 percent became permanent residents within ten years

Studies have found that, even with all the programs and options available, only 30 percent of study permit holders obtain permanent residence.

The data suggest that there's been a decreasing transition rate among international students from 2000 to 2005 and 2010. It means that study permit holders arriving in Canada have taken longer to become permanent residents within the past decade.

For example, 30% of international students between 2000 and 2004 obtained permanent residence. In 2010-2014 however, only 8% of study permit holders achieved permanent residency.

Nevertheless, the number of international students becoming permanent residents continues to rise. The only issue here is that the transition gaps only get longer each time.

50 percent of graduate students became landed immigrants within ten years

Compared with undergraduate students, graduate scholars have higher transition rates (years before the study permit holders obtain permanent residence) within ten years. Graduate students are also more likely to transition within a decade than students pursuing master's degrees.

Study permit holders of older age groups (25 to 34) are becoming permanent residents within a decade faster than those who obtain permanent residence at 17 years old.

Interestingly, among these study permit holders, non-university post-secondary students who obtained permanent residence increased by half from 2000 to 2014. Meanwhile, university students (bachelor's to doctorate) dropped by half.

60 percent of study permit holders with a job during or after studies obtained permanent residency

A job is a key factor for international students seeking permanent residency. According to research, the number of international students securing work permits increased from 2010 to 2014. Many of these working students earn less than $20,000 yearly.

Therefore, working students have a higher transition rate than students with study permits alone. Earnings also make a difference in transition rates.

90% of more-than-50,000 CAD earners are more likely to obtain permanent residency than those who earn less than $20,000.

Why do many international students don't stay?

Students who stay in Canada are outnumbered by those who leave, despite the high number of student visa holders. There are many reasons for this, including the following:

Province of destination

The province plays a significant role in encouraging permanent residency among international students. Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta are the provinces with the highest transition rate. Meanwhile, British Columbia consistently has a low rate of transition.

For example, the economies in Alberta and Ontario are strong, and numerous job opportunities pay well. Quebec houses some of the most prominent universities in the country, like Concordia University, McGill University, and the University of Montreal. Newfoundland and Labrador also have a great sense of community and cultural diversity.

Meanwhile, fewer international students are settling in British Columbia. Some factors behind this may be that the province has an increasing cost of living, especially housing.

In Vancouver alone, some testimonials point out that jobs are more demanding (but less paid) than in other cities. In addition, many Canadian natives move out of BC due to unsustainable living and a highly congested environment.

British Columbia was a top choice for inventors and immigrants, but the growing population caused housing prices to rise significantly.

It goes without saying that the destination province's economy, living conditions, and social environment also motivated international students to settle in Canada permanently.

Country of origin

Among the countries with the highest transition rates are India, Vietnam, and Nigeria. The USA, South Korea, and Japan, while having large portions of permanent residence applicants, have lower rates.

That being said, the country of origin definitely plays a big role. Compared to India, Vietnam, and Nigeria, the USA, South Korea, and Japan have undeniably higher gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, the former is more motivated to pursue permanent residency in Canada.

Confusion about immigration programs

It's true that the Canadian government offers a lot of options to attract more immigrants. However, in recent years, immigration programs have been frustrating for applicants. There have been changes to the pointing system for express entry applicants, giving more favour to:

Canadian post-secondary institution graduates

  • People with families in Canada
  • People with higher proficiency in English or French

International students also earn relatively lower incomes than Canadian graduates. Nevertheless, there are many ways to obtain permanent residency in the country. Depending on the applicant's qualifications, one may be more favourable than the other.

Canadian International Student Program

The Canadian government and private-owned universities offer many programs to encourage international students. Depending on the scholar's qualification, one can have wholly or partly subsidized tertiary education in the country.

The application process differs from university to university, but across the internet, the scholarship programs are made easily accessible.

But aside from undergraduate and graduate education, the Canadian International Student Programs had also evolved to help students find opportunities, further encouraging them to become permanent residents.

Canadian Experience Class

Canada offers many options to immigrants to obtain permanent residence, and there's almost no way you can't migrate to the country. One of the most convenient ways to do that is the Canadian Experience Class.

This program is specially catered to immigrants with at least one year of work experience in the country in managerial fields, professional jobs, and technical/skilled trades.

Provincial Nominee Program

Aside from the programs offered by the national government, specific provinces and territories made it even easier for international students to be permanent residents with the Provincial Nominee Program

Students may apply under express or non-express entry. The provinces they can choose are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

Applicants under this program can apply for permanent residence through express entry. International students who graduated from certain institutions can apply under the PGWPP to gain the necessary work experience for permanent residence.

International Mobility Program

The program is ideal for international students who are already guaranteed a job in the country while studying. While working, the immigrant can apply for a work permit and, eventually, permanent residence.

Final Thoughts

Canada is a well-known destination for immigrants across the globe. And one good way to get to the country is by studying.

In general, many international students eventually land a job and settle down in Canada. Still, we can't deny that many factors contribute to their transition from international to permanent residency.

When migrants from low-income countries migrate to an immigrant-friendly province, they are more likely to stay, especially if they already have a guaranteed job/working experience while studying.

However, many student visa holders still leave the country despite what the Canadian government offers. This is due to the confusion over immigration programs. An aspiring immigrant must conduct thorough research.

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