Permanent Residency in Canada Given to 20,000 Former Students
|14 November, 2023
Over 20,000 former international students in Canada have been granted permanent resident status in 2023 throughout the year.
In 2022, 19,735 former students became permanent residents of Canada. This has changed in 2023, as the number of students has increased; 20,580 former international students transitioned into permanent residents in the first quarter of the year.
There is a 78% increase in former international students receiving permanent residency in Canada compared to 2019, which is a huge increase within a four-year period.
As for popular destinations in Canada, Ontario is at the top of the list! Around 35% of former students applying for permanent residency chose Ontario to stay in 2023. This is followed by Columbia (21%), Quebec (12%), and Alberta (9%).
Global Affairs Canada shed light on the absolute need for more diversity in the study locations international students choose in Canada. They suggest that this will “spread the burden on services” and the economic impact on students more equitably”.
As a result of Canada's plans to stabilise permanency residency levels in 2026, the government is conducting new strategies to address the growth of immigration.
Canada has a target to maintain for the next two years: increase the number of permanent residents to 485,000 and 500,000 in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This is all in hopes of achieving at least 500,000 permanent residencies by 2026.
Despite the huge number of former international students, they still make up a minority of Canada’s permanent residents. However, last year only, 437,180 people were granted the status, which is the highest number on record.
Canada also witnessed a huge wave of enrollment from foreign students in colleges and universities, with over 800,000 international students in the country in total.
Several studies have been conducted, proving that the majority of students in Canada have a main aim, which is to become permanent residents later on.
Jenny Francis is an instructor at Langara College, whose research focuses on employment pathways for international students. She says, “The number of students gaining permanent residency is very small when compared to the overall number in Canada, and some students take “false hope” from the available pathways”.
“I think it’s important to stress that being an international student or a prospective international student isn’t a guarantee of permanent residence or a guarantee of citizenship”. Immigration Minister Marc Miller stated this at a conference.
He also discussed “unscrupulous agents” entertaining “false hope that if you can get into a programme, you can become a Canadian [citizen].” However, he highlighted that, in reality, there are limited pathways to permanent residency in Canada, so students must remain realistic.
This is why Francis urged agents and colleges to be more responsible and make it clear that studying in Canada is “a chance to get permanent residency, but it’s not a certain or guaranteed pathway by any means”.