A recent report shows that there is an increase in the number of Indian students opting for higher studies in Canada, thanks to the latest student visa mechanism which is faster and simpler. This new program reduces the processing time for student visas into 45 days contradictory to the present 60 days.
The initiative is known as the 'Student Direct Program' (SDS) which includes four nations - India, Vietnam, Philippines and China. In order to qualify for the SDS, a student must meet all the additional requirements, especially of language levels which will be tougher.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in a news release stated that they are also working on expanding SDS to Africa and are looking at options in Kenya and Senegal. Expansion to Senegal would be in line with the department's focus to attract more French-speaking students to Canada.
"IRCC recognizes the tremendous economic, cultural and social benefits that international students bring to Canada. We are committed to improving client service for all applicants, including students, as we continue to find new and efficient ways to reduce processing times."– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
This announcement almost coincides with the UK's government decision to exclude Indian students from easier visa norms. Given the growing protectionism in UK and USA, the number of Indian students opting for Canada is steadily growing. Indian students obtained 83,410 study permits during 2017, a rise of 58% over the previous year. (TOI)
According to a report, Canadian Bureau for International Education, a non-profit agency in the educational domain; as of December 31, 2017 there are approximately 500,000 international students in Canada. This number from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is an increase of 20% over 2016 and is particularly significant in that it surpasses Canada's International Education Strategy goal of 450,000 international students in Canada by 2022, five years ahead of schedule.
The top three fastest growing countries of origin from 2016-2017 were: Vietnam (+89%); India (+63%) and Iran (+45%). China remains the top sending country overall representing 28% of inbound students followed by India having almost doubled with 25% and South Korea a distant third with 5%.