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Foreign Students are Strengthening Canada's Educational System and Economy

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Study Permits and Student Visas

Foreign Students are Strengthening Canada's Educational System and Economy

Canada's education system is undergoing significant changes due to the continuously growing number of international students who immigrate to Canada to attend university. Plus, many of those foreign students want to remain in Canada after completing their education.

Due to recent rule changes introduced by the Canadian governments, "40 per cent of all economic-class immigrants accepted by the federal government are now international students who have graduated and who want to stay in Canada," says The Globe and Mail, and that "More than 500,000 international students are expected to study in Canada this year, in primary schools through to universities, more than four times as many as were here in 2000."

Canada is an attractive destination for foreign students:

  • Canada has an excellent educational system with universities that are internationally highly ranked and rated.
  • Tuition rates are competitive for international students, even though they pay more than Canadian students.
  • International students enrolling at American universities fell by 6.6% during the 2017-18 academic year; the U.S. is losing students to English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia and the UK.
  • Canada is perceived as a safe and immigrant-friendly country.
  • Brexit and new right to work limits for foreign students are discouraging international students.
  • Many foreign students speak English and want a western education.
  • Students can work part-time while enrolled in university.
  • Students automatically qualify for a work permit of up to three years after graduation.
  • Students are given preferred status if they apply to become permanent residents after graduation.

Canada's government is facing an aging populating and declining birthrate that has serious economic consequences. Nearly 500,ooo international students are in Canada now as part of a Canadian government strategy to reshape Canadian demographics by recruiting educated, skilled workers into the university system, which exceeds Canada's 2022 goal, according to the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

Foreign students are a benefit to Canadian students and the Canadian education system:

  • According to a study in The Journal of Public Economics, the high tuition paid by foreign students subsidizes additional space for domestic students and actually increases domestic enrollment.
  • Foreign students contributed $15.5-billion and 170,000 jobs to Canada’s GDP in 2017, according to The Globe and Mail.

Since June 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been offering faster processing of Study Permit applications for international students with legal resident status in China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam, under the Student Direct Stream (SDS), and is considering expanding the SDS to African countries, beginning with Kenya and Senegal.

Canada Study Permits

In order to study in Canada, international students usually require a study permit. This is a document available only after a college, university, or other accredited educational institution has accepted you. Study permits are only available for those accepted to schools designated to accept international students. Designated learning institutions appear on the official Designated Learning Institutions list, but only at the post-secondary level. Primary and secondary schools throughout the country are automatically deemed as designated institutions.

For more information on applying to study in Canada as an international student or to find out about working while you study or after you graduate contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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