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Canada extends India flight ban until August 21

The ban on flights from India was introduced on April 22, 2021.

Canada is extending its flight ban on India.

The restrictions will roll over for one more month until August 21.

On April 22, 2021, Canada introduced a travel ban on both India and Pakistan due to concerns on rising cases of COVID-19 variants. All passenger and business flights from the two countries were suspended.

The ban was initially in place for 30 days but it was extended once for Pakistan and then lifted last month on June 21.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has announced it is easing travel restrictions on fully-vaccinated tourists beginning in August.

Canada is pursuing its most ambitious immigration targets ever. Beginning this year, it is seeking to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants annually to support its post-COVID economic recovery.

A growing share of Canada’s new immigrants are former international students. Canadian government research shows former students tend to integrate successfully into the country’s labor market. As such, Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other skilled worker programs offer advantages to international students such as extra points and dedicated pathways.

Canada set to announce new travel rules
Canada set to announce new travel rules as soon as tomorrow

Canada’s current border restrictions expire on July 21. We will learn as soon as tomorrow the Canadian government’s new policies on U.S. tourism, tourism from the rest of the world, and flights from India.

Canada could announce its new COVID-19 travel measures as soon as tomorrow.

Canada introduced travel restrictions in March 2020 and has been extending them on a monthly basis throughout 2021. The country has taken a gradual approach to lifting restrictions.

Generally speaking, those now allowed to travel into the country include Canadian citizens, permanent residents, new immigrants, temporary foreign workers, international students, and family members of Canadians.

Those who remain excluded include tourists from the U.S. and tourists from the rest of the world. Flights to Canada from India have been banned since April.

The border restrictions expire on July 21 however prime minister Justin Trudeau’s office said Thursday night that the new rules would be announced “early next week” which suggests the measures will be public by Tuesday at the latest, a day before the current measures expire.

Thanks to the statement by Trudeau’s office, we now have a strong sense of what the new rules will entail. The one uncertainty remains India, with the Canadian government remaining coy on when it plans to lift its India flight ban.

What we do know is the government’s intentions on allowing tourists into the country.

Trudeau’s office says its goal is to allow fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents to enter the country as tourists by mid-August.

It is seeking to welcome fully-vaccinated tourists from the rest of the world by early September.

The caveat is that this depends on Canada maintaining its high rate of vaccinations and keeping its COVID-19 case count low.

Following a slow start Canada has emerged as a global leader in vaccination rates. Canadian government data show some 80 per cent of Canada’s 12-years-and-older population has received at least one vaccine dose while over 40 per cent are fully vaccinated. July 15 data shows Canada recorded over 400 new COVID cases the prior day.

Canada’s daily COVID case count was at its highest in April 2021 when it exceeded 9,000 new daily cases. However a stronger vaccine supply has resulted in lower cases and provinces across the country relaxing their social distancing guidelines.

Canada announced that all Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) Holders (i.e., newly approved immigrants) were exempt effectively immediately from its travel restrictions. Earlier this month Canada implemented a new policy exempting fully-vaccinated travellers from needing to quarantine.

Canada to introduce new open work permit for essential workers and international student graduates

Temporary residents who applied for the new pathway to permanent residence for essential workers and graduates can now get an open work permit while they wait for the results of their application.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has announced a new open work permit option for essential workers and international student graduates in Canada.

“Our new path to permanent residence for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates is a major step forward—the size, speed and scope of which is unprecedented,” said Mendicino in a news release. “This new open work permit ensures that those who have been playing critical roles throughout the pandemic can continue their extraordinary service.”

How to qualify for the new open work permit

In order to be eligible for this one-time open work permit, applicants must show that they:

  • have applied under one of the new permanent residence pathways;
  • were authorized to work at the time of their application;
  • hold a valid work permit that is set to expire within the next four months;
  • have temporary residence status, maintained status, or are eligible to restore their status at the time their open work permit application is submitted;
  • are in Canada at the time their open work permit application is submitted;
  • were employed in any occupation at the time their permanent residence application was submitted; and
  • meet the language requirements of the stream under which they applied at the time their application was submitted.

The open work permit is also available to the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner and dependent children over the age of 18, as long as they are also in Canada.

Also, if you have applied to extend your work permit before your current one has expired, you may be able to maintain your status. This would give you authorization to work without a permit under the same conditions as your original permit, while IRCC processes a new permit.

More details on how to apply for the new open work permit online will be added to IRCC’s website on July 26, 2021.

St. Clair College
St. Clair College

St. Clair College

St. Clair College

Winter'22 Intake - Hurry Up

50% App Fee Waiver till 31st July 21

Please find below the programs that are open for the Winter 2022 intake:

Location : 2 Campuses ( Windsor,Ontario & Chatham,Ontario)

Graduate Certificate - Data Analytics for Business
Graduate Certificate - Human Resources Management
Graduate Certificate - Event Management
Graduate Certificate - International Bus Management - Logistics

Business Administration -Accounting
Business - Accounting
Business - Marketing
Office Administration-General
Culinary Management
Business Administration - Finance
Business Administration - Human Resources
Social Service Worker - Gerontology
Hospitality - Hotel and Restaurant
Web Development and Internet Applications
Pre-Health Science Pathway to Ad
Personal Support Worker
Construction Engineering  Technician
Mech Engineering  Technician - Industrial
Computer Sys Technician -Networking
Mech Technician - Cad/Cam
Power Engineering Technician
Electromechanical Engineering  Technician

What St. Clair College has to offer

Admission Requirements :

Minimum Level of Education Required: 3 Year Bachelors Degree/ 12th Undergraduate

Min GPA: 50.0%

IELTS 6.0 Overall (5.5 Each Module) 

Duolingo  -Min 100 Overall 

PTE – Min 51 Overall

App Fee: 125$ [63$(approx.) with 50% waiver]

No specific GAP criteria 


Get your Offer Letter in 5-7 Business Days

Information Technology and Computing Programs on the Rise

International students have become increasingly interested in business programs, especially in Canada. Many institutions also saw growing international student demand for health studies and medical programs, even before the pandemic. But another popular field of study accounted for as much as 20% of the international student population in major destination markets in 2020: information technology (IT) and computer science programs.

We saw a major spike in student  searches for computer science programs in 2020. This is a strong indicator of future sector growth, especially since deciding on a field of study is the most important step for prospective international students.

We will be comparing the growth and popularity of IT and computer science programs among international students in Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. I’ll take a look at how enrollment numbers in these programs changed through 2019 and 2020, and I’ll also discuss key student source markets for each destination market.

Key Insights at a Glance

  • The number of new study permits issued for computing and IT programs at Canadian institutions grew by more than 50% from 2016 to 2019.
  • IT was the most popular STEM field of study for international students enrolled at Australian tertiary institutions in 2020.
  • 150,000+ international students were enrolled or working in computer and information science fields in the US in both 2018/19 and 2019/20.
  • New international student enrollments for computing programs at UK institutions rose by nearly 50% from 2015/16 to 2019/20.

One important note: the available data varies between each destination market. For Canada and Australia, the data I’ll be analyzing is for new international student enrollments based on the calendar year. For the UK and the US, I’ll be analyzing the total number of international students enrolled in IT and computer studies programs based on academic year.

Let’s start with the Canadian market.


IT and computing passed applied and general science as the second most popular field of study in Canada for new international students in 2019. In the process, IT and computing became the top STEM field in Canada, a position that it maintained in 2020. In 2020, computing and IT programs accounted for nearly 15% of all new study permits issued.

In 2020, 3 of the top 10 Canadian university programs for Oblivions services students were in IT and computing.

The chart below shows the number of new study permits issued to international students for computing and IT programs at Canadian institutions from 2016 to 2020:
New Canadian Study Permits Issued for IT & Computing Programs, 2016–2020In 2016, just over 14,000 students received study permits for IT and computing programs. By 2019, that number had risen by more than 50%, reaching nearly 29,000. The pandemic caused a significant decline in new study permits for Canadian institutions in 2020. From 2019 to 2020, new study permits across all fields of study declined by 73.5%. Computing and IT programs fared slightly better than the all-field average year-over-year, with new study permits declining by 71.1%.

The distribution of study permits for computing and IT between the college and university sectors has remained stable since 2016. From 2016 to 2020, university programs accounted for around 30% of new computing and IT study permits. This was slightly below the average for university programs among all fields of study, which ranged from 35 to 40% prior to 2020.

The following table shows the top student source markets for IT and computing programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions in 2019 and 2020:

Top International Source Markets for Canadian IT & Computing Programs,
2019 RankSource Market2020 RankSource Market
1India1 (-)India
2China2 (↑)France
3France3 (↑)Morocco
4Bangladesh4 (↑)Algeria
5Iran5 (-)Iran

In 2019 and 2020, Indian students accounted for 67.4% of all new study permits issued for IT and computing studies. The other top five markets combined accounted for only around 11.0% of all such study permits in 2019 and 2020. In 2020, Morocco and Algeria vaulted into the top five, largely due to the decline of the Chinese market. This collapse, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in India, likely indicate that sector recovery won’t gain significant momentum until 2022.

 Programs, 2019–2020
2019 RankSource Market2020 RankSource Market
1India1 (-)India
2Nepal2 (↑)China
3China3 (↓)Nepal
4Pakistan4 (-)Pakistan
5Sri Lanka5 (-)Sri Lanka

United States

International students have shown a strong preference for STEM studies at US institutions in the past few years. In 2019/20, over 50% of international students were enrolled or working in STEM fields. Engineering was the most popular STEM field for international students in 2018/19 and 2019/20. But 14.7% of international students were enrolled or working in computer and information science programs in 2019/20, up from 14.3% in 2018/19.

The chart that follows shows the total number of international students enrolled at US institutions for the top five fields of study in 2018/19 and 2019/20:
International Students at US Post-Secondary Institutions, Top 5 Fields of Study, 2018/19–2019/20There were over 150,000 international students enrolled or working in computer and information science fields in both 2018/19 and 2019/20. 38.2% of these students were completing graduate-level studies, while another 35.7% were enrolled in OPT programs. A smaller cohort, 25.5%, were enrolled in undergraduate programs. Overall US international student enrollment declined 1.8% from 2018/19 to 2019/20, with new enrollment falling 72%. Despite these factors, computer and information sciences enrollment increased by 0.6% over that period.

According to THE’s 2020 World University Rankings, the US is home to six of the top ten best universities for computer science in the world.

The table below shows the top student source markets for mathematics and computer science programs at US institutions in 2018/19 and 2019/20:

Top International Source Markets for US Mathematics and Computer Science Programs, 2018/19–2019/20
2018/19 RankSource Market2019/20 RankSource Market
1India1 (↑)China
2China2 (↓)India
3South Korea3 (-)South Korea
4Nepal4 (↑)Vietnam
5Saudi Arabia5 (↑)Taiwan

Over 70% of international students enrolled in mathematics and computer science came from either India or China in 2018/19 and 2019/20. Even though the 2019/20 academic year included the early stages of the pandemic, the number of math and computer science students from China rose by around 7% year-over-year. By contrast, Indian student numbers fell by about 10%. Student volumes from Nepal and Saudi Arabia dropped by over 13% from 2018/19 to 2019/20, while student populations from Vietnam and Taiwan climbed by more than 7%.

United Kingdom

The UK is a growing international student destination market for computing studies.In the 2019/20 academic year, computing programs accounted for only 6.4% of total international student enrollments and 6.7% of new student enrollments. Despite these low totals, computing was the second-most popular STEM field for international students in 2019/20, behind Engineering.

The following chart shows the total number of international students enrolled at UK institutions for computing programs between 2015/16 and 2019/20:
International Student Enrollments at UK Higher Ed institutions, Computing, 2015/16–2019/20In 2015/16, just under 20,000 international students were enrolled in computing programs. By 2019/20, this number had nearly doubled, exceeding 35,000 students. The majority of new students were enrolled in undergraduate studies, with such programs accounting for 57.0% of new enrollments in 2019/20. The remaining 43.0% of international students were enrolled in postgraduate programs.

The table below shows the top five source markets for new enrollments in UK computing programs:

Top International Source Markets for UK Computing Programs, 2018/19
RankSource Market

Like most destination markets, China and India were the top student source markets for IT programs in the UK in 2018/19. However, there was also a strong Balkan student population and a growing Nigerian student market. While it’s likely that both the Indian and Chinese markets shrank somewhat in 2019/20, changes to student fees due to Brexit are predicted to shrink the EU international student market in the coming years. While the EU will remain an important source of new students, UK institutions should look to emerging markets such as Nigeria, India, and Bangladesh to grow their computing student populations post-pandemic.

Future Growth All But Guaranteed

International student interest in IT and computer studies programs is likely to continue to grow post-pandemic. The global shift to remote work has demonstrated a pressing need for IT service providers and employees. However, the demand for IT-trained employees in the workforce has outpaced graduation rates. LinkedIn estimated that over 150 million new technology jobs will be created globally in the next five years.

Computing and IT fields of study should be top of mind for international students looking to secure stable employment after they graduate. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that US employment in computer and IT occupations would grow by 11% from 2019 to 2029, a much faster growth rate than the average for all occupations. Likewise, the Government of Canada rated job prospects for many computing and IT-related positions as very strong in 2019 and beyond. And, in the CIPD Spring 2021 Labour Market Outlook, over two-thirds of UK survey respondents in the IT industry reported that they planned for significant hiring in 2021 and 2022.

To keep up with this booming global demand, institutions looking to recruit more international students for computing and IT programs should consider:

  • Developing new, shorter-term programs focused on specific computing technologies and skill sets for growing industries such as health sciences, business analytics, and finance
  • Increasing enrollment capacity for existing computing and IT programs and leveraging online and virtual curriculums to reach more students
  • Promoting the career stability and opportunities provided by a computing or IT education
Canadian Study & Work Permits path to Higher Permanent Resident Income

While some international students plan to return home after they complete their studies, many consider studying abroad as the first step in their permanent residency (PR) journey. For those who go on to become permanent residents, their time as international students can provide invaluable skills and experiences which help them succeed in their careers and in their communities.

In this Insights, I’ll be digging into ways we can measure the impact of pre-PR international studies on Canadian permanent resident success long-term. Specifically, I’ll be analyzing pre-PR work and study permit data, as well as permanent resident income data, for new immigrants accepted into the Canadian permanent resident program between 2008 and 2017.

First, I’ll take a look at pre-PR permit trends among new permanent residents over that period. Then I’ll examine average permanent resident incomes over time, and how different pre-PR experiences influence long-term earnings. Finally, I’ll dive into income and employment trends for individuals who immigrated to Canada as children compared to Canadian citizens.

Key Insights at a Glance

  • The number of new permanent residents who were awarded work and study permits pre-PR has skyrocketed, growing 300% between 2008 and 2017.
  • Permanent residents with both pre-PR work and study permits have higher average incomes than those with other pre-PR experience.
  • Permanent residents who came to Canada as children are more likely to pursue post-secondary education and earn higher wages than Canadian citizens.

The data I’ll be referencing in this article comes from Statistics Canada’s Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB). Because this database combines immigration and tax filing information, it helps to provide a clear picture of permanent resident outcomes long-term.

Let’s start by looking at pre-PR work and study permit trends for new Canadian permanent residents.

In 2008, nearly 160,000 teenage and adult immigrants were granted Canadian permanent residency.4 Of this population, 14.1% received pre-PR work permits. By comparison, 3.5% of these residents received study permits and 5.2% received both work and study permits prior to admission.

By 2017, the number of new permanent residents with only pre-PR study permits had fallen by about half. But this did not represent a decrease in former international students receiving permanent residency. Rather, this decline was part of a significant spike in immigrants receiving both work and study permits before PR.

The chart below shows the number of new permanent residents per year who received work, study, or both work and study permits before they were accepted for PR between 2008 and 2017:Select New Permanent Residents by PR Acceptance Year, 2008–2017From 2008 to 2017, the number of new permanent residents with both study and work permits pre-PR increased by 300%. Of the more than 205,000 new permanent residents in 2017, 16.5% both studied and worked in Canada prior to receiving PR. This sizable increase is likely linked to increased international student interest in Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). In 2016 alone, over 50,000 new PGWPs were issued to students looking to work and remain in Canada after they completed their studies.

Research has shown that international students are less likely to be employed while studying, which can impact employment rates post-graduation. However, Canada’s PGWPP allows students to get valuable post-graduation work experience and thus increase their employability.

Average Employment Incomes for Permanent Residents

The boom in international students who go on to secure work permits is a great sign for students considering Canada as a study abroad destination. Why? Because immigrants who secure both study and work permits prior to becoming permanent residents are statistically more likely to earn higher wages than any other permanent resident group.

Permanent residents who received their PR in 2008 earned an average income of around $23,000 in 2009. By 2018, those same permanent residents had an average income of just over $35,000. But how did that compare to the income of those with pre-PR work or study permits?

The chart below shows the average income of new immigrants by the number of years since they received PR:Average Income of New Permanent Residents 1–9 Years After Receiving PR, 2008–2017The average income of new permanent residents who had pre-PR study and work permits increased by 57% in the first nine years after they received PR. By contrast, those who only had work permits pre-PR saw their average income increase by only 24%. The pre-PR work and study permit holders also experienced more consistent income increases. Their average income rose by no less than 9% every two years, compared to diminishing increases for pre-PR work permit holders.

According to the graph above, new permanent residents with pre-PR study permits had a lower average income. However, it is important to note that this group includes youth aged 15-18 who may have reported minimal income. As well, the data contains post-secondary students who would have reported scholarships and school funding as income. Even so, the average income for pre-PR study permit holders exceeds the average for all new permanent residents from a given year within ten years.

Employability and Qualifications

According to a 2019 WES report, immigrants are more likely to be overqualified for their jobs than their Canadian peers. According to the 2016 census, immigrants were overqualified for their work in 30.9% of cases, compared to 9.3% of the time for Canadian-born individuals. One of the major roadblocks for immigrants looking for appropriate work is a lack of knowledge among employers about foreign education and employment credentials.

But immigrants with pre-PR experience as students or temporary workers also showed strong employment advantages over other immigrants. The report showed that immigrants with Canadian work experience were 240% more likely to be employed than those who immigrated through other economic PR categories. It also outlined that pre-PR work and studies helped older immigrants maintain their career level and industry after migrating.

International students have been called “ideal immigrants” by Canadian federal and provincial governments, given that these students are “well positioned to immigrate to Canada as they have typically obtained Canadian credentials, are proficient in at least one official language, and often have relevant Canadian work experience.”

Immigrant Children Experience Long-Term Success

We can see that adults and young adults who study abroad in Canada before becoming permanent residents are highly employable—and successful. This is especially true for those who are able to obtain a work permit before securing permanent residency. But studying abroad is not just beneficial to international students. Children who immigrate with their international student parents are also very successful, often attending post-secondary studies and gaining higher employment income.

First, let’s take a look at post-secondary tuition data for 2018. The chart below shows the frequency of post-secondary enrollment for all Canadian tax filers and tax filers who immigrated to Canada as children, based on their age in 2018:Incidence of Post-Secondary Tuition Fees in Tax Filings, 2018At all ages, those who immigrated to Canada as children were more likely to pursue post-secondary education than the general population. In fact, nearly 45% of all tax filers aged 18 to 30 who immigrated as children attended post-secondary institutions in 2018. By contrast, only around 32% of all tax filers in that age group attended a post-secondary institution in 2018.

Completing post-secondary studies is a key factor in increasing long-term earning potential and career opportunities. The following chart shows the median employment income of the same tax filers detailed in the post-secondary education chart:Median Employment Income of Tax Filers, 2018Tax filers who immigrated to Canada as children and were 18 to 24 years old in 2018 made slightly less money, on average, than the general Canadian population. However, for the population of individuals in their mid-20s, the immigrant population was more likely to have higher employment income. The immigrant tax filers earned more employment income than the national average for all age groups 27 and above in 2018.

With the growing popularity of the PGWPP, along with Canada’s world-leading vaccination rates, there’s never been a better time to study in Canada. Next month, I’ll be covering PGWPP trends and statistics in 2020 in more detail. Stay tuned!

Canada Easing Border Restrictions
Canada Easing Border Restrictions

Great news for fully vaccinated international students travelling to Canada! The Government of Canada is easing border restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers entering the country. Starting July 5, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT, fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada may not have to:

  • Adhere to federal quarantine requirements
  • Take a COVID-19 test on day 8
  • Stay at a government-authorized hotel

This means that fully vaccinated international students who meet the travel requirements on the Government of Canada website and have an approved study permit may be able to avoid the added expense of a government-authorized hotel quarantine and the need for a full 14-day quarantine.

What Does It Mean to Be Fully Vaccinated?

The Government of Canada considers a traveler fully vaccinated if they “have received the full series of a vaccine—or combination of vaccines—accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.” 

Vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada are those manufactured by: 

  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

You can receive your vaccine in any country, but your supporting documentation must be in English or French or accompanied by a certified translation.

What Else Do International Students Need to Know?

To enter Canada, international students must meet the following student-specific requirements:

All travelers entering Canada must also meet the following pre- and on-arrival testing requirements (testing requirements for Indian students entering Canada on a non-direct flight are outlined later in the blog):

  • Travelers must have one of the following laboratory COVID-19 tests, with a negative result, completed within 72-hours of departure: 
    • A molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or 
    • Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)
  • Undergo a PCR test upon arrival at a Canadian airport

Travelers must also:

  • Submit information via the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours prior to their arrival in Canada
  • Be asymptomatic
  • Present a suitable quarantine plan
  • Adhere to public health measures, such as social distancing and wearing a mask when in public
  • Keep a copy of their vaccine and test results
  • Keep a list of close contacts for 14 days after entering Canada

International students must communicate their travel plans with the college or university they will be attending. As mentioned above, travelers must still present a quarantine plan upon entering Canada. That means you must “be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that [you] do not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt from quarantine.”

Flights From India

Please note that direct flights from India remain suspended until at least July 21, 2021. “passengers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route will need to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.” 

The full requirements for travelers from India, including those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19, can be found on the Government of Canada website.

We continue to recommend monitoring the Government of Canada website for the latest information. As always, Oblivion Services will continue to relay information and updates as they are made available.

How the Pandemic has Impacted on SDS Applications in India

Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS), a government program that allows eligible students from certain countries to expedite the processing of their Canadian study permit applications.

We compared approval rates for the SDS program and the regular study permit application stream in 2019 and early 2020. As markets around the world look to rebound from the global pandemic, it’s time to examine updated data1 and analyze the effect that COVID-19 has had on the SDS program. As 95% of last year’s SDS study permit applications came from Indian students, I’ll be focusing solely on that critical market in today’s blog post.

Key Insights at a Glance

  • SDS remains an attractive option for eligible students, with a 63% approval rate in 2020.
  • Study permit approval rates for bachelor’s programs under SDS dropped from 87% in 2019 to 63% in 2020.
  • Substantially lower approval rates for SDS applications in 2020 were likely a product of non-student Indians attempting to use the SDS program to immigrate to Canada during the pandemic.

For those looking to get up to speed on what the SDS program is, learn more about the latest qualifications and application process, visit the Canadian immigration and citizenship resources on

Changes in SDS and Study Permit Approval Rates

Since the inception of the SDS program in 2018, Indian students have accounted for the overwhelming majority of SDS applications. In 2020, that trend persisted, as 33,370 of the 35,158 SDS applications came from the Indian market. Last year, 45% of all study permit applications submitted by Indian students were SDS applications.

The chart below shows the difference in study permit approval rates between Indian students applying through the SDS program and those who applied through the regular stream over the past two years:
Bar Graph
While SDS approval rates fell from 80% in 2019 to 63% in 2020, the SDS program continues to offer students a much higher chance at getting approved for a study permit than the regular stream. Approval rates for the regular study permit stream declined from 43% in 2019 to 37% in 2020.

When I last examined SDS data, we found that Indian students who applied through SDS in 2019 were twice as likely to be approved for a study permit than those who applied through the regular stream. And while approval rates for both streams fell with the onset of the pandemic, this two-to-one ratio held through June 2020. Essentially, through June last year, the pandemic negatively affected both streams of applicants at the same rate.

However, something changed between June and December 2020 which affected full-year 2020 approval rates. The year-over-year approval rate for Indian SDS applicants fell by nearly three times as much as non-SDS applicants (-17% vs. -6%).

Changes in Approval Rates by Program

One of the core reasons students apply through the SDS stream is to expedite processing times, though higher approval rates are also attractive. In 2019, SDS approval rates were 35 to 45 percentage points higher than non-SDS rates across each study level. That all changed in 2020.

The following table summarizes the difference in year-over-year approval rates between SDS and non-SDS programs for Indian students:

Study Level Non-SDS Approval Rate SDS Approval Rate SDS Approval vs. Non-SDS Approval
College 28.1% 61.9% +33.8%
Bachelor’s 59.1% 62.6% +3.5%
Master’s 66.5% 79% +12.5%
Other Studies (University) 34.9% 64.9% +30%

In 2019, the study permit approval rate for bachelor’s program applicants from India was 45 percentage points higher under the SDS program than under the regular stream. In 2020, that difference almost entirely disappeared, as bachelor’s program applicants under the SDS program had an approval rating only 3.6 percentage points higher than applicants under the regular stream.

While SDS applicants to master’s, college, and other studies programs all maintained higher study permit approval ratings over regular stream applicants, the advantage they held in 2020 decreased significantly compared to 2019.

By looking at the year-over-year change in study permit approval rate by study level, we can see how much less advantageous the SDS program appeared to be for Indian students in 2020:
Bar Graph
Approval rates for Indian applications through the SDS program fell across every major study level in 2020, decreasing by 10 to 24%. Non-SDS applicants fared relatively well, only experiencing a slight dip in the master’s, other studies, and college approval rates.

One of the biggest shocks to me was the approval rate for non-SDS bachelor’s program applications rising by 12% in 2020. This bucks the trend that we’ve seen with our partner schools globally, as approval rates for bachelor’s programs fell by an average of nearly 6%.

Study permit approval rates for every major study level within the SDS program decreased by at least twice as much as approval rates for the regular stream in 2020.

Key Takeaways

Despite an uncharacteristically down year for the SDS program for Indian students, the program continues to provide bright opportunities for the most qualified students hoping to study in Canada. Here are some things to keep an eye on as a return to international travel peeks over the horizon:

  • In 2022, I expect SDS application approval rates for bachelor’s, master’s, and college programs to regain their 25 to 45 percentage point advantage over the regular stream.
  • If Indian students meet the criteria for SDS, they should make applying through the program a top priority since they are more likely to be approved.
  • For institutions, they should ensure that online learning still factors into the curriculum once students are back on campus, but also that students still have access to the community and facilities that make the international student experience so unique.

Working While Studying in Canada

By Oblivion Services

One of the many reasons Canada remains a popular study abroad destination among international students is because of the country’s wide range of diverse and flexible post-secondary study options. International students can find employment if they’re enrolled in a full-time degree, diploma, or certificate program that’s at least six months in length. If you’re a part-time student in your final semester, you can work off-campus if you don’t require a full course load to complete your studies and were a full-time student up until your final semester.

You can work off-campus up to 20-hours per week during the regular school semester, and full-time during a scheduled break, such as winter and summer vacation and during reading week.

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