Canada’s International Students Earn More Than Other Newcomers

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Canada’s International Students Earn More Than Other Newcomers
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Canada immigration news: Studying in Canada helps international students improve their language skills and gain Canadian work experience boosts – and that boosts their earning potential when they become permanent residents here.

“During the first two years after immigration, economic principal applicants with Canadian study experience earned considerably more than those who did not study in Canada,” reports Statistics Canada. 


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“This advantage was due entirely to their better official language ability and much higher shares with pre-immigration Canadian work experience.”

Better Language and Work Experience Give International Students An Edge

In International Students As A Source Of Labour Supply: Pre-Immigration Study In Canada And Post-Immigration Earnings, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) researcher Eden Crossman and Statistics Canada researcher Feng Hou reveal a Canadian education often leads international students to earn more two years after immigration than others who got their permanent residency at the same time.

But it’s not the quality of the Canadian education itself that gives them the edge. 

It’s the extra Canadian work experience and chance to brush up on their French and/or English language skills while in Canada.

When compared to other immigrants who got their permanent residency at the same time but had the same amount of education in their home countries and who also had comparable French and English language skills, those educated in Canada actually earned less two years after immigrating here.


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Their Canadian education, however, was not to blame for that lower earning potential two years after immigrating here.

As the researchers point out, the lower income for Canadian-educated new permanent residents in the two years after their immigration was only due to the tendency of many of them to pursue post-graduate work. Many just stayed in school. 

By doing that, these new permanent residents had lower income during those two years because they were not working full-time.

Canadian Education Pays Off For International Students In Long Run

“While lower annual earnings in their first few years after immigration reflected their continued status as students, the benefit of Canadian study experience grew in the longer term,” note the researchers. 

“Ten to 11 years after immigration, economic principal applicant immigrants with at least one year of Canadian study experience had significantly higher earnings than those without such experience, regardless of whether they had pre-immigration Canadian work experience,” they wrote.

International students are a boon for Canada, a ready pool of skilled workers that can become permanent residents and help the country resolve its massive labour shortages.

“More than 58,000 graduates successfully applied to immigrate permanently in 2019, and their decisions to stay in Canada will help to address our stark demographic challenges,” Ottawa noted in a recent statement.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, border restrictions and public health restrictions led Ottawa to implement a lot of changes in the recruitment of international students.

The World University Rankings organization monitored study permit applications during the pandemic and gives strong marks to Canada for its measures to help out international students.

“The latest data, which show the number of study permit holders by the date the paperwork became effective, indicate a strong bounce back in (international student enrolments in Canada in)2021,” notes the organization’s data editor Simon Baker.

Canada Did Better On COVID-19 Than Most Other Countries

In January, the organization revealed Canada’s international student enrolment closed off last year almost as high as in 2019, the peak year for international student enrolment in Canada.

“The number of permits effective in August 2021 was higher than the number issued in August 2018 and almost as high as the record 113,000 issued in August 2019,” notes the organization. 

“This rebound was confirmed in a report from student recruitment platform ApplyBoard, which said in a November report that 175,000 permits had been issued in the first six months of 2021, double those issued in the whole of 2020.”

During the pandemic, immigration officials saw a slowdown in processing times for study visas but Canada’s general openness during the pandemic appears to have paid off.

Surveys show foreign nationals are confident in Canada’s ability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and care for its sick during this global emergency.

“A positive perception of the ability of the government and health care system in Canada to manage the pandemic is having a positive impact on interest in immigrating,” notes World Education Services.

In a report entitled One Year Later: Canada’s Enduring Appeal to Prospective Immigrants in the Face of COVID-19, Comparative Analysis, August 2020 – August 2021, the non-profit that provides credential evaluations for international students and immigrants revealed Canada’s response to the pandemic has kept interest in immigrating high.

Prospective Immigrants Confident In Canada’s Handling Of Pandemic

“Fifty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they were more interested in immigrating to Canada because of the ability of the Canadian government and healthcare system to manage the pandemic and care for COVID-19 patients,” states the report.

 In its Canadian International Student Survey, entitled Supporting Recovery and Driving Growth in Global Higher Education, QS World revealed last year that international students who had planned to defer their studies in Canada changed their minds due to Canada’s pandemic response.

Many of those students, who followed Canada’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic with a national COVID-19 vaccination program, felt last year the country was once again safe enough to attend university and college in Canada.

Among the attractions of Canada for these international students is the opportunity to find jobs both while studying and afterwards, something made possible by the country’s Study Permits and Post-Graduation Work Permits. 

That work experience can then count towards upping their Comprehensive Ranking System points and improve their chances of immigrating to Canada and becoming permanent residents.

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Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca 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.