In total, Indians make up 34 per cent of the more than 640,000 international students in Canada.
Why Canada Is Attractive to Indian Students
India is such an important source of international students in Canada for reasons such as:
- India has a large middle-class population with high levels of English proficiency.
- Canada is a more affordable option than other countries and yet it offers a very high level of education. Indian students can also work while studying in Canada to help cover their living expenses.
- Indians are attracted by Canada’s reputation as an open and multicultural society, and that the country has a large Indian diaspora.
- Canada offers many options for Indians who want to study, work and eventually immigrate. Indian students are well placed to obtain Canadian permanent residency because of their high levels of English proficiency, educational and professional experience gained in India, and the experiences they gain in Canada.
Many Indians will still want to start their studies in Canada in the fall of 2020, despite interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of COVID-19, Canada has many policies in place to help achieve the immigration goals of people around the world.
For example, Canada recently stated that it will accept incomplete applications for study permits if a person is unable to obtain all the documentation they need due to coronavirus disturbances. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will wait for applicants to obtain such documents rather than reject the applicant.
In addition, Canada has made a major reform that will allow international students to begin their Canadian online program in the fall of 2020 and remain eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).
The PGWP allows international students to gain work experience in Canada for up to three years. This work experience makes Canadian immigration applications for international students more competitive.
Step-by-step guide: How to study in Canada from India in the fall of 2020
If you’re also looking to study in Canada from India, here’s how you can do it, including how you can speed up the process:
Step 1: Explore designated learning institutions in Canada to determine which programs you are interested in. DLIs are universities, colleges and other educational institutions authorized by the government to accommodate international students. There are more than 1,500 ELDs across Canada, two-thirds of which are located in Ontario and Quebec.
Step 2: Apply to the DLIs of your choice. MRIs will consider you based on factors such as your transcripts, your English language skills, how the program fits into your career plans, and professional and academic recommendations. The DLIs that accept you will provide you with a letter of acceptance (LOA).
Step 3: Indians wishing to study in Quebec must receive a certificate of acceptance from Quebec from the Quebec government. They then have to obtain a study permit from the federal government. Indians who wish to study in any province or territory outside Quebec only have to apply for a study permit from the federal government.
The purpose of the study permit is to legally confirm that you are entitled to study in Canada. Key documents to submit as part of your study permit application include your LOA, proof that you can meet your financial needs in Canada, as well as a medical examination and police certificate.
Accelerated option for Indians: the direct student component
Fortunately, Indian students also have the opportunity to expedite their application for a study permit.
As part of the direct student component, Canada aims to process Applications for Indian Study Permits within 20 calendar days.
To be eligible for the SDS, Indians must meet additional criteria, such as:
- Get a score of at least 6 in each IELTS academic test skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
- Obtain a C$10,000 Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating financial institution that meets the SDS criteria
- Prove that you paid tuition for the first year of your studies in Canada
The SDS is a great option for Indians who want to start their studies in Canada this fall.
Indians who obtain an FTA and then apply for a completed study permit in a timely manner should be able to begin their Canadian studies in time for the fall 2020 semester.
Even if you are unable to arrive in Canada by the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can still start your online program in India and remain eligible for a valuable work permit after graduation. The PGWP, of course, can then help you become eligible for even more Canadian immigration programs.
There are currently more than 200,000 Indians studying in Canada. You can join them in the coming months with Canada’s hospitality policies for Indian students.
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