Recently, Canada has been of particular interest to Indian students when it comes to traveling overseas for education. While countries like the US and UK continue to make immigration policies more stringent, Canada introduced revisions to its immigration laws  in 2016 that have made Canadian education more accessible to International students!

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made more enhancements to these laws. The IRCC has outlined changes to the Express Entry Programme, which is an upgrade to the process of granting permanent residency to highly skilled immigrants and students who graduate from Canadian higher education institutes.

This change is sure to resonate with more international students as it addresses a very real need. As pointed out in our blog: 'Where are Today’s International Students Going for Their Education,, the US and UK, while popular destinations for international study, are starting to lose their appeal as a result of their conservative visa policies. Canada on the other hand appears to be addressing this need head on.

The Canadian Appeal

Canada’s undeniable hold on education and excellent academic standards make it an attractive Study abroad destination. Even the tuition fees and cost of living  in Canada is inexpensive when compared to its counterparts. No wonder it has come to be known as an education superpower! University of Toronto, McGill University and University of British Columbia are among some of Canada’s most prestigious schools that have consistently sustained their position in the QS top universities ranking. Last but not the least, the possibility of getting Canadian citizenship adds to the overall appeal of a Canadian education.

Opportunities for International Students

Canada has made several changes that have increased the options international students have when it comes to living, studying and working in Canada. And as a result, the population of Indian students attending colleges and universities in Canada in 2016 reached more than 100,000. Canadian immigration laws are very flexible for students who prefer a work-study arrangement while pursuing their higher education. Students enrolled at Canadian higher education institutes are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the study duration. A post-graduation work permit is granted for up to three years.

Introduction of the New Bill That Benefits International Students

The bill introduced at the end of February 2016 essentially restored an old law which existed until the previous government altered it. The most important part of the bill is reinstating the 50% credit for time spent in Canada by international students. This means that half of the time a person spends in Canada as a student in any Canadian university counts towards the total residency time in Canada which is needed in order to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Besides this, the bill reduced the total time one needs to spend as a resident in Canada – from four out of the previous six years to three out of the previous five years – in order to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Another change was announced in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). CRS is a point-based system used to assess and score immigrant profiles and rank it in the Express Entry pool. Put simply, the CRS determines if an immigrant is eligible for permanent residence status in Canada or not. It ranks each profile on the basis of several determining factors such age, education, work experience, language ability and adaptability. The Comprehensive Ranking System now awards 15 points to international students holding a diploma or certificate earned on completion of one- or two-year courses. Likewise, holders of certificates, diplomas and degrees earned in three years or more, including a Master’s, professional or doctoral degree, are awarded 30 points.

Another important point to note – not part of the bill, but a promise made by the Canadian government is that there will be a review of the Canadian Experience Class program; this program is very important for international students in Canada as it helps talented individuals who are studying in Canada and wish to become Canadian citizens.

This bill clearly shows that international students are quite welcome in Canada, and not only to study, but also to become productive citizens of the country.

If you are a student who is interested in a Canadian education but not ready just yet to move too far from home, you may want to consider studying at the Canadian University Dubai. Find out more from our blog: Studying in Dubai: Selecting a university in Dubai

About the Author: Nemanja Petkovic is a content writer and researcher, with several years of experience writing articles and blogs on a variety of subjects. He currently works as a freelance writer while completing his studies as a student of English Language and Literature.

About the Co-Author: Mustafa Sutarwala is an all-round creative marketing graduate from Amity University Dubai, and is currently working in Dubai. He's inclined to digital marketing communications and works as the Creative Ninja for SchoolApply.