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Studying for Permanent Residence: International Students and Canadian Immigration Policy

May 26, 2021

Studying in Canada remains an excellent pathway towards permanent residence. Now is the optimal time to begin preparing a study permit application in order to prevent the risk of facing a potential delay or rejection. 

Canada ranks as one of the world’s leading destinations for foreign students which saw an international student population of over 530,000 students in 2020. This is not surprising given that Canada is home to many world-renowned universities and colleges with affordable tuition costs. A Canadian study permit also provides you with the opportunity to work while studying in order to prevent the accumulation of debt.

Students who graduate from an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution also benefit from taking advantage of Canada’s post-graduate work permit (PGWP) program. A PGWP may be issued upon completion of the study program and enables you to gain valuable work experience, which can help students transition to permanent residence status.

Foreign nationals who have completed their post-secondary studies in Canada have often been the targets of past Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) policies aimed at helping graduates qualify for Canadian permanent residence. For example, Express Entry favours younger applicants with Canadian education, work experience, and high language scores. There are also numerous Provincial Nominee Programs targeting students.

If you’re planning on starting a new program or course at a Canadian educational institution this upcoming fall, it is important that you act now and avoid the risk of being stuck without a study permit.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many visa processing centres around the world have been struck with delays. The time needed to process a study permit can take up to 16 weeks depending on where you are residing. Even fast-tracking study permit pathways, such as the Student Direct Stream, are experiencing severe delays and not adhering to the 20-day turnaround time.

Not only are you facing increased delays, but the odds of your study permit application being refused are also higher. The refusal rates on study permits have increased from 31% to 37% over the past few years. Countries like India and Iran face a refusal rate of over 30%, while some countries such as Nigeria and Ghana face a refusal rate of over 70%.

A refused application can be very costly as it can impose new hurdles and affect your credibility in future applications. Additionally, if your ultimate goal is to immigrate to Canada, you may potentially lose your chances to do so through a study pathway. While we have successfully challenged study permit refusals at Federal Court, a properly prepared initial application will maximize your chances of success.

At Abramovich & Tchern, our Canadian immigration lawyers work with students around the globe to carefully prepare and submit their study permit applications in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner without comprising the compelling evidence needed to maximize your chances of an approved application.

E-mail us at info@atimmigrationlaw.com or call us today at 416-551-1757 to discuss your student pathway to Canadian permanent residence.