International students in the post-COVID Canada

August 7, 2021

International students in the post-COVID Canada

International students are very essential for Canada. They bring new cultures and ideas, stimulate innovation, develop important cross-cultural competencies, and contribute to Canada’s economic success and international education sector.

Students contribute to Canada’s economy and society
Canada recognizes the long-term benefits of international education. In 2017, Canada adopted and in 2019 updated its International Education Strategy 2019–2024, which aims to draw students from around the world to communities across Canada. The officials want students to enroll in a wide variety of schools and programs at all educational levels to boost the country’s innovation capacity and foster a vibrant Canadian economy.

Every year, more than half a million international students study in Canada, sparking new ideas, and building people-to-people ties that are crucial to international trade and the global economy. International education makes an important contribution to Canada’s prosperity. According to the recent figures by Statistics Canada, international students contributed almost $21.6 billion to national GDP of Canada in 2018! This resulted in creation of over 170,000 jobs for the middle class Canadians.

Top talented international students
Canada’s economy is changing rapidly and increasingly, and Canadian employers are seeking new skills to meet these challenges. International students are vital for the Canadian economy that strengthen the workforce and help to compete successfully in global markets. Due to the aging population, immigration increasingly drives net workforce growth in the country. Within the next ten years, immigration is predicted to bring for 100% of net growth in the workforce.

International students are ideal candidates for permanent residency
International students are considered valuable candidates for permanent residency (PR) since most of them are young and possess Canadian educational qualifications and language skills. The Government of Canada has always supported international students by easing immigration requirements and launching special immigration programs for international students.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the support of the Government became much clearer. Foreign students were allowed to complete 100% of their studies online and still be able to get a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). In addition, as many students could not find proper jobs during the pandemic because of the backlog in the Canadian economy, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offered PGWP holders the chance to get a new Open Work Permit so they could obtain the experience they needed to qualify for PR.

IRCC also provided a new Open Work Permit for international student graduates, essential workers, and medical workers who have successfully applied for the new May 6 immigration policy to let them legally stay in Canada while waiting for their application decision. Canada also launched a new public policy to prevent international students who worked more than 20 hours per week during an academic session in an essential service from being penalized on future immigration applications.

Canada is the best place for international students in the Post-COVID world
Considering all post-COVID policy changes, it becomes apparent how Canada tries to help and keep international students in the country and make their transition to permanent residency easier.

It is also clear now, that unlike the US, Australia or New Zealand, the Canadian government saw the global pandemic crisis as a new window of opportunities to attract and retain the best young talents. Consequently, we can conclude that Canada is winning the competition for the most valuable source of the twenty-first century – human capital. Modern economies need human capital much more than gold, oil, or natural gas.

If you want to study in Canada and immigrate after the completion of your studies, this is the best time to apply for a college or university!

back to Blog