PTC Web Desk: The recent changes in Canada's immigration policies, particularly related to student visas, are having significant repercussions for Indian students aspiring to study in the country. The Justin Trudeau administration has implemented new norms in response to rising food costs and a housing crisis. This move is expected to particularly affect Indians, who constitute the largest group of overseas students in Canada.
Key Changes in Student Visa Norms
Reduction in Student Visas: Canada has capped the number of student visas to be issued at 360,000, marking a 35% reduction from the previous year. This reduction is considered a temporary policy for a two-year period.
Limits on Post-Graduate Work Permits: The new norms also impose limits on post-graduate work permits for overseas students. The intention is to encourage students to return to their home countries after completing their studies. Master's and Post-Doctorate students will be eligible for a three-year work permit, while those admitted under a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer qualify for post-graduate work permits.
Restrictions on Open Work Permits:Open work permits will now be available only to spouses of overseas students pursuing Master's or doctoral programmes. Spouses of undergraduate and college students will no longer be eligible.
Additional Documentation Requirement: Student permit applications now require a letter of attestation from a Canadian province confirming its capacity to accommodate the applicant.
Impact on Indian Students in Canada
Reduced Attractiveness: The changes in visa norms may make Canada less attractive for Indian students, prompting them to consider other options such as the UK, US, and Australia.
Historical Trends: India has been a significant source of overseas students in Canada, with a massive increase of 260% between 2013 and 2022. In 2021 and 2022, over a lakh Indian students moved to Canada.
Diplomatic Strain: Ties between India and Canada have strained in recent times, potentially affecting the processing of study permit applications from India. Accusations by Trudeau against Indian government agents have contributed to the deterioration of relations.
Impact Beyond Students
University Finances: The reduction in the number of international students is expected to impact Canadian universities financially, as these students contribute approximately $16.4 billion annually.
Business and Labour Shortages: Some businesses, including restaurants and the retail sector, anticipate a shortage of temporary workers due to the cap on foreign students. Nearly 100,000 vacancies in Canadian restaurants and a 4.6% contribution to the food service industry workforce by international students are highlighted concerns.
Banking Sector: Canadian banks, which benefited from the influx of international students, may also face challenges. International students are required to have Guaranteed Investment Certificates of over C$20,000 to cover living expenses.