Canada The Favourite Destination For International Students, Beating Australia and US

Canada PGWP Ineligibility Deadline Moved Forwards For Some International Students
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Canada was picked as the most popular destination to study abroad in a study of more than 21,000 students from 100 countries by a global student recruitment firm.

In its Emerging Futures 3 research report, IDP Connect reveals Canada beat out Australia and the United States as the best place for international students to pursue their education.

Canada was picked as the top choice by 27 percent of international students, Australia by 23, and the United States by 21 percent. The United Kingdom ranked fourth with 18 percent of respondents choosing that country.

New Zealand placed a distant fourth with only three percent of international students choosing it as their favorite destination and Ireland was chosen by only two percent of these students.

The opportunities afforded to international students to work while they study and then get Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP) and then immigrate to Canada through Express Entry system programs seems to be heavily influencing their decision to want to come here.

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“Globally, 63 per cent of students say post-study work is the main or an influencing factor in where they study,” notes the IDP Connect report. ‘Post-study work programs are helping drive demand and generate interest from a range of countries.

“Over half of students say that the availability of post-study work opportunities was important in their decision about where to study. By creating clearer pathways from education to employment, destination countries will see demand increase from a greater number and more diverse set of countries.”

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser is bullish on the recruitment of international students as a potential source of future immigrants to Canada and a skilled workforce that will help resolve the country’s labour shortages.

Earlier this year, he gave foreign nationals with expired or expiring PGWPs yet another 18-month extension.

“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support employers who continue to face challenges in hiring the workers they need to grow,” said Fraser.

“At the same time, we’re providing international graduates whose work permit is expiring or has expired with some additional time to stay in Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially qualify to become a permanent resident.”

Immigration Minister Extended The PGWP Deadline This Year

PGWPs are not usually renewable but since Apr. 6 this year international graduates with one of these permits which expired last year or earlier this year have been able to qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional work experience for up to 18 months.

Those with expired work permits are now able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period and receive an interim work authorization while awaiting processing of their new work permit application.

Tens of thousands of international students successfully transition to permanent residence each year, including more than 157,000 in 2021, a record high, and nearly 95,000 in 2022, the second-highest total ever.

There were more than 286,000 international graduates in Canada with PGWPs at the end of last year, the latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals.


The latest extension to the PGWP is the third time Canada has allowed international students to renew their PGWPs and relieved their worries about being able to stay in Canada.

Many such international grads have feared their PGWPs would expire before having an opportunity to apply for permanent residency under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), CityNews Ottawa reported last year.

“When I was given this last extension [in 2021], my understanding was that it was meant for people to transition to permanent residents,” Gaurav Purohit, a finance professional whose work permit was to expire in October last year, reportedly told CityNews Ottawa.

“But then the process for transitioning people from post-graduate work permits to permanent residents was stopped for probably like 10 months.”

With the extension announced last year, Purohit was given another opportunity to stay in the country.

Under the CEC program, applicants need to demonstrate they have at least a year’s worth of work experience.

Higher CRS Scores Improve An Applicant’s Chances Of Getting An ITA

In the draws for Invitations to Apply (ITA) under that program, the IRCC scours the Express Entry pool of profiles which are ranked according to their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, with those applicants with higher scores being more likely to receive an ITA.

By having more work experience in Canada, applicants gain more points.

“The government recognizes that international students are an important source of future permanent residents,” said an IRCC spokesperson last year. “Of the 406,005 people who became permanent residents in 2021, more than 157,000 were former international students, a new record.”

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.