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Can I use ChatGPT for my application to study abroad?

The short answer is no. 

Although technically possible, you shouldn’t use ChatGPT for your study abroad application. This chatbot has made headlines for its capacity to produce intricate written responses to straightforward questions. However, employing it could jeopardize your academic future.

Here are four reasons why using ChatGPT for international students’ applications or academic purposes is a terrible idea.

It’s Plagiarism (and ChatGPT Makes Stuff Up)

Using OpenAI’s ChatGPT program to write your essay is regarded as plagiarism, just like if you had asked a buddy to write your admissions essay or statement of purpose. Students who “represent AI-assisted work as their own,” according to the software vendor Turnitin, are engaging in contract cheating.

The Chat GPT program can produce a decent essay rapidly, but the New York Times reports that it is prone to providing incorrect responses because it assembles words “based on a statistical model trained on billions of examples of text gathered from all across the internet.”

As a result, the programme makes educated guesses about which words belong where, occasionally getting them wrong or coming up with brand-new ones. It’s acceptable to have that kind of uniqueness while coming up with a comedy routine, but it will damage your applications essay.

We requested ChatGPT, for instance, to “Write a short admissions essay for a student from Delhi who desires to pursue their undergraduate degree in bioscience at the University of Toronto.”

Don’t Risk Your Admission

Your study abroad experience could be cut short by plagiarism. Your foreign student application will probably be rejected if it is determined that your essay, statement of purpose, or other components of your application were plagiarised. Your name could potentially be blocked from any upcoming applications by the school.

If your work is found to be plagiarised when you are already enrolled in a programme, you risk failing the assignment or being expelled. And on campuses nowadays, professors rely on more than just their instincts.

Many schools and universities currently use plagiarism-detection programmes like Turnitin and Unicheck, both of which will release programmes that can identify writing generated using ChatGPT by the end of 2023. The developers of ChatGPT, OpenAI, have also talked about including a digital watermark in the app’s text output. Additionally, free text review apps like GPTZero, developed by Princeton undergraduate Edward Tian, will emerge and enter the toolkits of teachers.

The likelihood of being caught is high and increasing. Are your goals of studying abroad worth giving up to save a few hours?

Think of the Future

While the application process for study abroad will alter over time, the widespread use of ChatGPT may necessitate quick adjustments. Colleges and institutions will probably adopt harder-to-plagiarize application components in the future. For many students, this adjustment may make the process more difficult.

For instance, if you find it difficult to write an admissions essay, try live video chat discussing about a random topic. Although it may seem absurd, schools might use this strategy to accurately assess each student’s talents.

Changes of this nature may also affect how equally distributed studying abroad is. In this case, students would require access to particular video programmes and a steady, high-speed internet connection in order to participate in an interview. This would imply that pupils who live in rural areas, places where internet access is limited, or families with lower socioeconomic status have a decreased chance of succeeding.

Nobody Knows You Better than… You

We understand that assembling an application package requires time and that writing essays might be frightening. Even if you don’t feel confident in your writing abilities, employing a chatbot is far preferable to writing the essay in your own voice, even if it’s not great.

Admissions essays and, to a lesser extent, declarations of purpose are ultimately personal. And you will always be the foremost authority on yourself when you talk about yourself. Share your interests, whether you enjoy studying about robots or paintings from the Renaissance. In order to properly discuss classes you’d like to take, professors whose work inspires you, or a co-op that can give you fantastic hands-on skills, do your research on the school you want to attend.

Although the past few years of your life may not have been very interesting to you, there is one thing that all international students have in common: you all have lofty aspirations. You have objectives, places you want to go, and things you want to accomplish. Discuss this and how joining your desired university or college would position you for success. If you can explain how you’ll support them in shining along the route, bonus points!

Avoiding fraud and scams related to Canadian immigration

Canadian fraud and scams

Unfortunately, new Canadian immigrants and potential immigration seekers are particularly exposed to many types of scams/fraud. Here are three things to keep in mind to help current and future Canadian immigrants avoid the penalties of an immigration scam/immigration fraud.

Between November 14 and December 8, 2022, CBC reported on three distinct suspected Canadian immigration frauds.

A Concordia University student who migrated to Canada from Iran this autumn lost over $11,000 to phone fraudsters in Edmonton. Early in December, allegations appeared that a Ghanaian man was the victim of a social network employment scam that also requested money for a health insurance charge. Fortunately, he was cautious and recognised the fraud before sending any money.

Unfortunately, the “dozens of victims” reportedly duped out of “$5000 or more” by a Vancouver immigration expert may not have been so fortunate. The immigration consultant in this scheme, who is now the subject of a class action lawsuit, is accused of misrepresenting herself as a lawyer and defrauding migrants “with promises of a road to permanent residency in Canada through a nonexistent programme.”

The examples above were offered to demonstrate the frequency of Canadian immigration scams throughout the country. As a result, the following highlights three points to keep in mind for recent Canadian immigrants and prospective aspirants wishing to work, study, or come to our nation in order to avoid the painful penalties of falling victim to immigration fraud or an immigration scam.

IRCC and the collection of fines/fees

Scams, including immigration scams, are increasingly being conducted over the phone. In fact, according to a survey done as part of a CityNews Vancouver piece published in January 2022, scam calls in Cantonese or Mandarin have increased by 20% since 2019. Furthermore, according to the President of Vancouver-based research firm Research Co., 60% of cellphone users receive fraudulent calls claiming to be from a government body.

To that end, Canadian immigration seekers should be aware that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will never call or contact them, either online or in person, to collect payments or penalties in order to avoid repercussions such as deportation.

Scammers may “often offer a phoney name and agent number to look official,” according to IRCC, but these sorts of calls are always a fraud.

If someone calls and threatens you with penalties for not paying money or disclosing personal information, do not be hesitant to contact local authorities and/or report the occurrence.

IRCC’s official scam/fraud identification resources

Immigrating to a new nation is a trip that needs newcomers to get reliable information. Untrustworthy information is prevalent in the internet era because anybody can create a website or a blog and pretend to be an expert on any subject they choose. As a result, official government resources are critical in each immigrant’s trip to Canada.

It’s also worth noting that the IRCC provides official government tools (FAQs and tip sheets) to help recent Canadian immigrants and those planning to immigrate to Canada recognise and prevent immigration-related fraud and scams.

Whether someone is looking for information on a specific sort of fraud/scam (telephone/internet scams, document fraud, etc.) or wants to know what to do if they become a victim of a scam/fraud, IRCC has substantial web resources on all of these topics. These tools will assist both recent Canadian immigrants and prospective Canadian immigration aspirants in remaining aware of and protecting oneself from these scenarios.

Verifying the legitimacy of Canadian immigration service providers

When moving to a new nation, immigrants frequently require assistance from others. This aid, depending on the choices chosen by the immigrant/immigration hopeful, may come from an internet forum or an immigration counselor such as an immigration lawyer, advocate or consultant. Nonetheless, just as anybody may portray oneself as an internet subject matter expert via a website, fraudsters can easily appear as trustworthy and reputable immigration advisers.

Official Canadian registers and directories exist to verify the legality of persons who claim to be allowed to represent immigrants/provide immigration assistance, to assist both current Canadian immigrants and potential immigration seekers. All Canadian citizenship and immigration consultants, for example, must be members of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. Similarly, Canadian immigration attorneys and notaries must be members of a Canadian provincial or territorial law organisation, and Ontario-based paralegals must join the Law Society of Ontario.

According to IRCC, most provincial and territorial law societies have online tools to verify if a certain individual register as a member in good standing, and an individual’s “standing” is a useful predictor of whether immigrants should engage the services of that immigration lawyer.

These Are The Best Cities In Canada For International Students & The Top Ones May Surprise You

If you’re a student looking for the best cities in Canada to study, a new ranking has done the legwork for you by identifying the best places to study.

Clever Canadian compiled a list of the best cities in Canada for international students, and while the usual suspects are included, some of the other cities on the list may surprise you.

Caitlyn Grant’s report, published in December, ranked 50 Canadian cities based on factors such as diversity, monthly rent, internet speed, and tuition costs.

Sherbrooke, Quebec, ranks first on the list, with monthly rent costs of $985 and relatively low average tuition costs of $5,298 per year.

The city is home to universities such as the University of Sherbrooke, but it is also close to Bishop’s University, which has been named the best in Canada for student satisfaction.

The city was also highly ranked for its fast internet speed, which was 110 megabits per second.

Following Sherbrooke, St. John’s, Newfoundland, was named the second-best city in Canada for international students, owing to its affordable tuition (an average of $3,036 per year) and low rent of $860 per month.

Calgary, home to schools such as the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, was named the third-best city for international students, owing in part to its high level of diversity.

The three cities are followed by Rimouski, Quebec, which was praised for its low rent costs and high internet speed, and Edmonton, which was praised for being both diverse and affordable.

The 10 best cities in Canada for international students

These are the 10 best cities that students looking to study abroad will want to consider:

  1. Sherbrooke, Quebec
  2. St. John’s, Newfoundland
  3. Calgary, Alberta
  4. Rimouski, Quebec
  5. Edmonton, Alberta
  6. Montreal, Quebec
  7. Quebec City, Quebec
  8. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
  9. Winnipeg, Manitoba
  10. Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec

While Montreal was able to make the top ten due to its many schools (including McGill University, which was ranked as the top university in Canada), it was unable to crack the top five, possibly due to the lower internet speed (64.91 Mbps) and the higher cost of living.

Other frequently mentioned cities on the list include Toronto, which came in at number 19 and is home to the University of Toronto, which was named the most reputable institution in Canada for 2023.

Other frequently mentioned cities on the list include Toronto, which came in at number 19 and is home to the University of Toronto, which was named the most reputable institution in Canada for 2023.

Vancouver is also included on the list, ranking 30th due to its diversity and array of top schools, including the University of British Columbia.

Canada breaks record by welcoming over 437,000 new immigrants in 2022

Canada breaks record by welcoming over 437,000 new immigrants in 2022

Over 437,000 new permanent residents were admitted to Canada last year, the most ever in a single year.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced today that Canada has exceeded a record-breaking target for permanent resident admissions in 2022.

According to an IRCC tweet, Canada welcomed over 437,000 new immigrants last year. This exceeds their target of 431,645 new immigrants and sets an all-time high for Canadian permanent residence admissions in a single year. The previous high was set in 2021, when Canada welcomed over 405,000 new residents.

“Today marks an important milestone for Canada, setting a new record for newcomers welcomed in a single year.” said immigration minister Sean Fraser. “It is a testament to the strength and resilience of our country and its people. Newcomers play an essential role in filling labor shortages, bringing new perspectives and talents to our communities, and enriching our society as a whole. I am excited to see what the future holds and look forward to another historic year in 2023 as we continue to welcome newcomers.”

In 2022, IRCC processed 5.2 million applications across all business lines. This figure includes applications for permanent residency, temporary residency, and citizenship, and it is more than double the number of applications processed in 2021.

The increase in applications processed, as well as the high number of admissions, is attributed to new resources, new technology, streamlined processing, and bringing more processes online, according to IRCC.

In the Fall Economic Statement, the government also committed $50 million to IRCC for 2022-2023 to address the ongoing backlog of applications, which stood at 1.09 million across all lines of business as of November 30, 2022.

Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025

The annual Immigration Levels Plan specifies Canada’s admission targets. The plan for 2022 was released in February 2022, with the highest admission targets ever, until the plan for 2023-2025 was released in November 2025.

Immigration accounts for nearly all of Canada’s labor-force growth. In Canada, there are nearly one million job openings and a skilled labor shortage due to the aging workforce.

Immigrants are critical to Canada’s economy because nine million Canadians are expected to reach the retirement age of 65 by 2030. Because of Canada’s aging population, the worker-to-retiree ratio is expected to fall from 7 to 1 50 years ago to 2 to 1 by 2035.

Furthermore, because Canada has one of the lowest global birth rates, at 1.4 children per woman, immigration accounts for nearly 75% of Canada’s population growth.

In recent years, Canada has made an effort to welcome a greater number of immigrants in order to increase its population. According to the 2021 immigration census, 1.3 million new permanent residents entered Canada between 2016 and 2021. In other words, one in every four respondents in Canada was or had been a landed immigrant or permanent resident, the highest proportion since Confederation and the highest proportion among G7 countries. Immigrants are expected to account for 36% of Canada’s population by 2036.

In the future, the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, released in November, sets an even more ambitious target of 500,000 new permanent residents per year by 2025. The goal for 2023 is 465,000 people.

How can we help

We at Oblivion Services assist foreign nationals with every step of the process to become Canadian international students. Clients may anticipate one-on-one assistance with everything from choosing a school and program of study to receiving an acceptance letter and applying for a CAQ and study visa. Every International Student Program participant is assigned an Educational Counsellor who will assist them in realizing their goal of living in Canada!

Please complete our free student assessment to evaluate your eligibility for studies in Canada, and one of our Educational Counsellors will call you to discuss your needs.

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Why Canadian Student Visas are Rejected Due to “Dual Intent”

A Canadian study permit, often known as a student visa/ student visas, may be denied for a variety of reasons, including lack of funds, ambiguous or missing documentation, or poor academic standing. Due to “dual intent,” one of the most frequent reasons why a student visa is denied.

But what does that mean?

Dual intent is the intention to enter Canada with the goal of obtaining both temporary and permanent residency. When applications for student visas are denied for this reason, it’s usually because the visa officer examining the application is unconvinced that the applicant intends to leave Canada after completing their studies.

For this reason, it’s especially important for students to make it clear in their Statement of Purpose, and to the officer, that they plan to return home upon finishing their studies. 

Work on Your SOP

Introducing yourself to your institution and the visa officer can be done through a Statement of Purpose, or SOP. In this essay, you introduce yourself and explain why you would be a valuable addition to the program you are applying to.

Make sure to mention going home after graduation in your SOP. Don’t talk about your intentions to remain in Canada after your programme is through. This violates the terms and conditions of your visa and may result in the denial of your study permit.

Your SOP should also discuss your accomplishments, problems you’ve conquered, and extracurricular activity experience.

Note: Many students may want to address dual intent directly by mentioning their desire to become a future permanent resident of the country. However, for the best chances of having your visa accepted, it’s best to avoid the topic entirely. Focus fully on your interest in studying in Canada.

Get Your Documents in Order

Make sure you don’t forget anything while giving the required documentation for your student visa application. Among the crucial records to submit are:

  • A letter of approval (LOA)
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of financial assistance
  • History of travel Additional personal documents (birth certificate, biometrics, etc.)
  • In order to demonstrate that you do not intend to remain in Canada after the study visa expires, it is usually a good idea to present documents demonstrating your intention to return to your native country.

It’s crucial to incorporate proof in your supporting paperwork while organising your records. For instance, any gaps in your schooling or career history may be explained by your medical or employment records.

Elaborate on Previous History

Discuss your prior travel experiences with your immigration officer once you arrive at the airport as well as in your SOP. Give specifics about your journeys and your motivations, and make it obvious that you always made it back home.

Be cautious while discussing your former connections and links if you’ve been to Canada before. Having these relationships may help you feel more at ease while you are a student there and may be a support system if you ever get the chance to relocate to Canada. However, it can lead visa officers to suspect that you would overstay your visa after finishing your education.

Tip: If you haven’t traveled yet, now can be a good opportunity to book a trip somewhere abroad! Doing so shows proof that you’ve traveled to different countries and have a history of returning home. 

Inteview tips

Once you’ve arrived in Canada, an interview with an immigration officer might be nerve-wracking. However, with enough preparation and practise, you can overcome these worries. It is beneficial to be prepared to respond to specific inquiries regarding your programme and prepare answers in advance. Some typical queries are as follows:

  • “Why did you choose to study in Canada instead of working in your home country?”
  • “What made you choose x program at x school?”
  • “How are you funding yourself while studying abroad?”
  • “Are you planning to return to your home country after your studies?” (To which the answer should always be “yes”!)

Keeping these questions in mind, it can help to think about:

  • Why you chose your specific program and institution, and how it will help you get a job in your home country
  • The improved job opportunities you can get after studying abroad, and companies you can apply to

After carefully reviewing your SOP, papers, travel history, and interview, it’s crucial to highlight going home in order to minimise the chance of getting flagged for dual intent. These suggestions can assist you in moving one step closer to realising your study abroad aspirations, regardless of whether you have previously been refused or are just now applying.

Are There Any Travel Restrictions In December 2022?

Travel Restrictions Canada: Christmas and New Year’s Day travel makes December one of the busiest travel months of the year. Fortunately, there aren’t many restrictions on where you can go and it’s simple to travel to distant locations to see family or go sightseeing.

United States Travel Restrictions

There are no travel restrictions within the United States and its outlying territories, such as Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents traveling abroad won’t need a return entry Covid-19 test or display proof of a coronavirus vaccine to re-enter the country.

However, two travel-related mandates can impact select groups of leisure travelers:

  • Vaccine mandate: Foreign visitors can only enter the United States if they are fully vaccinated. The U.S. is one of the few countries to still have this entry requirement for non-citizens, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
  • Mask requirements: Currently, three New York City metro airports (JFK, La Guardia and Stewart International) have an indoor mask mandate. However, masking remains optional with most airlines and public transit terminals.

Canada Travel Restrictions

For the first Christmas travel season since the pandemic started, Canada is still accessible to citizens of the United States via air and land. The public transportation mask requirement expired, and there are no health inspections at border crossings. Unvaccinated travelers may also enter the country without any restrictions.

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How to maximize your Express Entry CRS score if you’re aged 30 or over

Immigration through Express Entry CRS scores takes into account applicants’ ages, and some are penalized for this. Here are a few tactics one can use if they want to increase their Express Entry CRS score as a candidate over 30.

Express Entry is Canada’s largest source of immigration.

When applicants apply to immigrate to this country through Express Entry, eligible Express Entry applicants are scored through a point-allocation grid called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Introduction to Express Entry and the CRS

The CRS is a points grid used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to rank Canadian immigration applicants who apply through any of the three Express Entry system application management systems — the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

The CRS begins by evaluating what the Canadian government calls “core human capital factors,” which include age, education, first language ability (English or French), second language ability (English or French), and Canadian work experience.

For these purposes, we will be focusing on the first item in the above list, age.

The CRS system in Canada awards the most age points to Express Entry applicants aged 20-29. (100). If you are 30 or older, your age category points will decrease progressively each year (95 points for an applicant aged 30, 90 points for a 31-year-old applicant and so forth). Under the CRS, applicants aged 45 and up receive 0 points in the age category.

Fortunately, simply being 30 or older does not mean an applicant’s Express Entry hopes are over. If they apply at or after the age of 30, prospective Express Entry applicants can maximize their CRS score in a variety of ways.

Getting a provincial nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Receiving a nomination through any of Canada’s enhanced Provincial Nominee Program streams that are linked to Express Entry is one way for applicants to boost their CRS score. In fact, receiving a provincial nomination through a PNP is the single best way to maximize a CRS score and receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence because receiving a nomination prior to applying through Express Entry can earn an applicant an additional 600 points.

PNPs are available in all Canadian provinces and territories (except Quebec and Nunavut) as a tool for each region to nominate permanent residence candidates who want to settle in a specific area of Canada.

Designed to spread the benefits of immigration across Canada, particularly since Canadian immigration has historically been disproportionately concentrated in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, there are currently over 80 country-wide PNP streams available for prospective Canadian immigrants across Canada’s 11 PNPs.

If an Express Entry candidate applies to a PNP and is invited to apply, then applies and receives a provincial nominee certificate, they can upload their certificate to their Express Entry profile and receive the 600 available CRS points. Again, they will almost certainly receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada as a result of this.

Getting a Job offer

Another way for an applicant to improve their CRS score is to apply through Express Entry while holding a valid job offer in writing that details all job requirements, such as pay, duties, and employment conditions. In fact, this strategy is one of the most effective ways to improve an applicant’s CRS score because candidates with a valid offer of employment can earn either 50 or 200 additional CRS points depending on the position.

Work experience evaluation

Work experience can help an applicant’s CRS score in a variety of ways. To begin, simply gaining additional work experience can help an applicant improve their score. Furthermore, doing a better job of articulating current work experience can help applicants in many ways.

Language proficiency enhancement

Language ability is another critical component of CRS scores that falls under the category of “core human capital factors.” As previously stated, language is divided into two categories: first language ability and second language ability, which are used to assess an applicant’s proficiency in English and French. This component of an applicant’s CRS score can add up to a significant number of points, making it an essential part of any Express Entry application.

Language proficiency, which is broken down into writing, reading, speaking, and listening, can earn a single applicant between 128 and 136 points (depending on spousal/partner status, but more on that later).

Furthermore, because of its ability to count for points across multiple sections, the language category is useful for increasing CRS scores. Language, as an individual element of the CRS, can count for points in four larger categories: human capital factors, spousal factors (if applicable), skills transferability, and “additional factors.”

Furthermore, language can be combined with other factors such as education to improve an applicant’s CRS score even further.

Making the Most of Your First Week Studying Abroad

Starting your studies in a new country can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve compiled a list of general to-dos to help you make the most of your first week studying abroad on campus. Continue reading to learn more about how to best prepare yourself for a successful start to your new academic life!

Prepare for Your Courses

To ensure your priorities are in order, it’s a good idea to use the first few weeks studying abroad to prepare for your courses by:

  • Making any outstanding payments
  • Purchasing textbooks and course materials
  • Reading over your course syllabuses

This allows you to get a head start on your classes while also leaving some room in case you have any questions for your professor or need more time to find textbooks. Above all, it ensures that you are fully enrolled in all of your courses.

Get to Know People

Your first few weeks are an excellent opportunity to meet other students in a similar situation! You’ll be surprised how many similarities you have with other students, and you’ll enjoy their company. Here are some great ways to meet new people:

  • Participate in clubs and societies.
  • Make study groups with your classmates.
  • Take on a part-time job on campus.
  • Participate in orientation events.

Cozy Up Your Living Space

Personal touches are required to transform a house (or sometimes a dorm room!) into a true home. It can be unsettling to live in a foreign country, but incorporating touches of your personality and pieces from your home country into your space can make you feel a lot more at ease. Make your living space a place where you feel comfortable and happy, with areas for studying and relaxing. Some useful hints are as follows:

Display photos of loved ones on your walls or on your desk.
Have one or more light sources available (especially in countries like Canada, where the winter season is dark)
Display a memento from your home country.

Explore Your Campus

Visit new areas on campus to get to know what your campus has to offer—you might find your favorite study spot or a cozy campus cafe for your coffee breaks! While you’re exploring, it’s also a good idea to take advantage of any student benefits you may have. Many academic institutions, for example, provide students with a health and dental plan (along with insurance) or a discount on certain campus facilities and restaurants, such as gyms and restaurants. Some off-campus establishments, such as grocery stores, may also provide student discounts.

With these pointers in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your first week abroad. At the end of the day, it’s critical to remember to have fun and not put too much pressure on yourself. Everyone’s study abroad experience is unique and special in its own right.

Canada Lifts Limits on Hours per Week International Students Can Work

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser debuted a new policy in Canada that will impact foreign students studying on October 7, 2022. International students with off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be permitted to work off-campus for more than 20 hours per week while enrolled in classes beginning on November 15, 2022, and for the duration of 2023.

This is fantastic news for the many international students studying in Canada who depend on part-time work to pay their tuition, cover their living expenses, and gain valuable work experience.

The 20 Hour Weekly Limit, Lifted

In Canada, international students are typically only allowed to work 20 hours a week off-campus during the regular academic semesters.

This cap is typically imposed to motivate students to concentrate on their studies. But not every student, every course, or every circumstance is the same. Many students discover that they have extra capacity or that the workload of their current courses gives them the freedom to work longer hours at their off-campus jobs. They have the freedom to do so thanks to this new policy in Canada.

The more than 500,000 foreign students who are currently enrolled in academic programs in Canada as well as those who have already submitted applications for study permits and are about to start their studies there will be subject to the new policy in Canada.

As an international student in Canada, you can work more weekly hours off-campus between November 15, 2022 and December 21, 2023 as long as you meet these requirements: 

  • You’re a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • Or you’re a former full-time student, now part-time student, in your final semester of study completing your program
  • You’re enrolled in a qualifying post-secondary program of study that is at least 6 months long 
  • Your program leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • You’ve begun your studies 
  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) 
  • You have off-campus work authorization on your study permit

Benefits for International Students

In addition to helping Canada’s current labour shortages, this measure also provides a lot of important benefits for international students:

  • Students can earn more weekly income, helping them pay for tuition, living expenses, and other fees
  • This gives students new opportunities to gain work experience in their field, preparing them for career success later (whether in their home country or in Canada itself) 
  • The opportunity to gain more experience now gives students a better chance of working in Canada full-time later, with a Post-Graduate Work Permit 
  • Working allows students to network and develop key relationships, opening new doors to career success later on

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The Most Popular Canadian Colleges and Universities for International Students

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada remains a popular destination for international students in Canadian Colleges and Universities. In 2020, we examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian postsecondary education. Now, with full-year data for 2021, we’ll look at how Canada’s post-secondary institutions have recovered post-pandemic. We’ll look at which Canadian colleges and universities attracted the most international students in 2021, and how that compares to 2020.

Canadian Post-Secondary Study Permit Trends 2019 to 2021

The total number of new study permits issued to post-secondary students increased from just over 64,000 in 2020, to more than 300,000 in 2021. This means that there was an increase of nearly 375% in 2021, showing a strong recovery after the drop in the total number of study permits issued in 2020. In comparison, there were around 211,000 study permits issued in 2019.

Most Popular Canadian Colleges for International Students in 2021

In 2021, the total number of new study permits issued for the ten most popular Canadian Colleges and Universities increased by nearly 62,000 over 2020 and by more than 29,000 over 2019. This amounted to nearly 400% more research permits in 2021 than in 2020, and 60% more than in 2019. Here’s a closer look at the top five colleges:

Conestoga College

This Kitchener, Ontario-based college, which was previously ranked third on the 2020 version of this list, has seen incredible growth in its international student population. Conestoga College students received 72% more study permits from 2019 to 2021, and nearly 350% more from 2017 to 2021.

Seneca College

Seneca College, which has campuses throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), has attracted over 29,000 students since 2016. Seneca, which was ranked fourth on this list in 2020, saw nearly 590% growth from 2020 to 2021, making it Canada’s number two college in terms of new study permits issued.

Lambton College

Lambton College, located in Sarnia, Ontario, has consistently ranked among the top ten colleges for international students over the last five years. The number of new study permits issued to Lambton students decreased by only 55% between 2019 and 2020, but increased by 59% between 2017 and 2021.

Centennial College

Centennial College, located in Toronto, jumped into the top five colleges with an incredible post-pandemic recovery. Centennial issued nearly 6,400 new study permits in 2019, which fell to just under 1,400 in 2020. More than 7,200 new study permits will be issued to Centennial College students in 2021.

St. Clair College College

St. Clair College, like Centennial, has experienced rapid growth in enrollment. In 2021, St. Clair saw a nearly 5,900 new study permit increase, resulting in a 40% increase in numbers and a total of more than 7,100 new study permits issued. From 2017 to 2021, this represented a 170% increase.

Loyalist College

Loyalist College in Toronto is another top-ten post-secondary institution worth mentioning. Students at Loyalist College in Toronto received 3,914 study permits in 2021, up from 42 in 2020. This amounted to a 125-fold increase in study permits issued in 2021 compared to 2020. In its second year, Loyalist ranked tenth among all Ontario colleges in international enrollment in 2021.

Most Popular Canadian Universities for International Students in 2021

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (U of T), located in downtown Toronto, is the most popular Canadian university for international students. In 2020, the University of Toronto saw a 74% decrease in new study permits issued compared to 2019. When compared to 2020, the number of new study permits issued to U of T students in 2021 increased by nearly 800%, with just over 9,500 more study permits issued in 2021 than in 2020.

University of British Columbia

The University of Toronto (U of T), located in downtown Toronto, is the most popular Canadian university for international students. In 2020, the University of Toronto saw a 74% decrease in new study permits issued compared to 2019. When compared to 2020, the number of new study permits issued to U of T students in 2021 increased by nearly 800%, with just over 9,500 more study permits issued in 2021 than in 2020.

University Canada West

University Canada West (UCW) remained in the top five and is Canada’s most popular university for international students. In 2021, the number of new study permits issued to UCW students was more than four times that of 2019. This was a strong rebound following a 52% drop from 2019 to 2020.

Concordia University

Concordia University, previously ranked as the tenth most popular Canadian university for international students, has risen to the top five this year. From 2019 to 2021, Concordia saw a 62% increase in new study permits issued, and a 650% increase from 2020 to 2021.

McGill University

McGill University, like UBC, was a model of student stability prior to the pandemic. After a 78% drop in new study permits in 2020, McGill saw a strong rebound in 2021. Since 2020, McGill has seen an impressive increase of nearly five times more study permits than in 2019, amounting to a nearly 450% growth rate.

Canada student visa rejected? Here’s why and how to avoid it.

Since the Covid-19 limits and air travel prohibition were abolished in 2021, the number of applications for Canada student visa permits being denied has increased.


Indian students have seen a substantial increase in the number of their Canada student visa applications being turned down by the Canadian government in recent days. According to reports, the rejection rate for Canada student visa permits has risen to around 60% in recent days.

Since the Covid-19 limits and air travel prohibition were abolished in 2021, there has been an increase in Canada’s rejection of student visa permits. But notably during the last two days, rejection has increased dramatically, according to students.

According to reports, those who had IELTS scores between 6.5 and 7 as well as a strong academic record and financial stability were also turned down.

According to a CBC News article, roughly a million of the over two million outstanding applications for temporary residents and permanent residents (PR) in Canada were from India. The survey also noted that, as of June 29, Canada has a backlog of more than 2.4 million immigration applications, up from 1.8 million applications in March.

Here is why student visas are being rejected

According to a CBC News article, roughly a million of the over two million outstanding  applications for temporary residents and permanent residents (PR) in Canada were from India. The survey also noted that, as of June 29, Canada has a backlog of more than 2.4 million immigration applications, up from 1.8 million applications in March.

According to experts, the decline in interest in Australia and New Zealand has led to a massive increase in student visa applications for Canada.

These abrupt increases in visa applications may be the cause of a large number of rejections and delays in visa acceptance. Notably, it now takes a lengthy 9–12 months to complete a Canada student visa application for Canada.

Experts have also attributed the increased rejection of student visa permits to a high pendency rate for applications in several categories, fraudulent evidence submitted by students in some circumstances, and licensing concerns with particular private universities.

Pending Applications

Differential treatment in international student recruiting and acceptance rates between Quebec versus the rest of Canada is the subject of a report from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that was presented to the Canadian House of Commons in May.

According to this data, the total number of Study Permit Applications from India that were rejected and those that were processed in 2021 were 91,439 and 225,402, respectively. The rejection rate was close to 41%.

In the case of India, there have been 96,378 requests for permanent residency, while there have been 430,286 requests for temporary residence. The biggest number of applications pending in the globe as a whole was 9,56,950.

The data states that from 2,64,625 in 2016 to 4,02,427 in 2019, the number of study visa permits climbed by 52%, reaching its greatest level since the study visa program for Canada’s began.

However, compared to 2020, when Canada had given 2,56,740 study permits, there was a 36% decline because of the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects on travel and access to services to submit the necessary papers for a complete application.

Here are some tips for avoiding rejection

Making sure you have the necessary paperwork prepared and ready to go by the deadline is a crucial step in preventing your application from being denied. The following documents should be ready when you apply for a student visa permit, according to the Government of Canada’s official website.

-An admission letter from the designated learning institution (DLI) you’ll be attending

-Unless you meet the requirements for fully immunized travelers, you must attend a DLI with an approved COVID-19 preparedness plan if you are under 18 and traveling from outside Canada to study.

-As many of the required papers for a full application as is practical

-A letter providing an explanation for any missing documents as a result of COVID-19

-A valid Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) or a letter of permission for your CAQ is required if you intend to study in Quebec.

The website also states, “Until you’ve completed a complete application, we won’t be able to finalize your study permit. The processing of papers will be delayed if you wait to submit them.

Please be aware that you must submit an application for a study permit prior to traveling to Canada. Some citizens of Canada may submit an application for a study permit.

Here is a quick document check guidance for your application.

You need these documents to apply for a study permit:

-Proof of acceptance

-Proof of identity

-Proof of financial support

Here's how to apply for student visa permit in Canada

Student Direct Stream (SDS) and non-SDS categories are available for Canadian students to apply for study visas. Here are the processes for submitting an online application for a student visa.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

-A scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents

-A valid credit or debit card

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

You should read the instructions before completing your application, even if you submit it online. The instructions will detail how to fill out each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

There are a few questions you must respond to before you can upload your forms. These are used to make the student’s individualized document checklist.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include:

-Processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application


You have to pay these fees at the end of the application

Third-party fees

Depending on your circumstances, you could have to pay third parties for services at a visa application center, medical exams, police certifications, language tests, and more.

These costs won’t be charged to your online account. You’ll provide the third party a straight payment for them.

Biometrics fee

When submitting your application, you should often pay a biometrics cost. If not, there can be delays. The cost of getting fingerprints and a digital picture is covered by the biometrics charge. Check to see whether you have to provide your biometrics.

Step 5: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

-Pay your fees

-Submit your application

-Check your status

Check if you qualify to apply for Student Permit

Canada Announces Immigration Levels for 2022–2024

The figures are in! Canada just unveiled its Immigration Levels Plan for the years 2022–2024. Between 2022 and 2024, the Canadian government plans to welcome around 430,000 new immigrants every year, the biggest number in the country’s history and over 1% of the country’s total population.

The immigration goals of Canada are to assist refugees, reunite families, and enhance the economy. We’ll look at the Immigration Levels Plan today, as well as the provincial and territorial immigration paths.

Summary of Canada’s Immigration Level Plans

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes a new Immigration Levels Plan every year to guide its operations. Canada will aim for the following number of new immigrant landings between 2022 and 2024:

  • 2022: 431,645 permanent residents
  • 2023: 447,055 permanent residents
  • 2024: 451,000 permanent residents

Why Canada Needs New Immigrants

In order to develop its economy, Canada welcomes a large influx of immigrants. Canada not only has one of the oldest populations in the world, but it also has one of the lowest birth rates. This imbalance puts fiscal and economic pressure on the government. Canada has been raising immigration levels since the late 1980s to meet the pressures produced by a lower birth rate and an aging population. This has helped to boost the country’s economy, population, and labor force. For the majority of its population and economic growth, Canada now relies on immigration.

What This Means For International Students

The new Immigration Levels Plan in Canada is fantastic news for overseas students seeking permanent residency in Canada. International students in Canada may be eligible for a work permit after graduation (PGWP). While PGWP holders are allowed to work in Canada for a limited time, this does not guarantee permanent residency. International students who want to stay in Canada permanently must apply for immigration. Express Entry is one option, while others may be eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Because of the high numbers specified under the Immigration Levels Plan, overseas students have a better chance of obtaining permanent residency through these numerous routes.

Immigrant Categories

Below we’ll break down the planned permanent resident admissions by each of the four immigrant categories.


  • Federal Highly Skilled
  • Federal Economic Public Policies
  • Federal Business 
  • Economic Pilots and Caregivers
  • Atlantic Immigration Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Quebec Skilled Workers and Business


  • Spouses, Partners, and Children
  • Parents and GrandparentS


  • Protected Person in Canada and Dependents Abroad
  • Resettled Refugees – Government-Assisted
  • Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored
  • Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office-Referred


  • Humanitarian & Compassionate and Other 

Provincial and Territorial Immigration Pathways

Below we’ll explore in more detail what immigration pathways are available by province and territory.

Alberta (AB)

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) nominates individuals for permanent residence who can fill key job shortages or plan to buy or start a business in Alberta. There are four main streams:

British Columbia (BC)

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a pathway for experienced entrepreneurs or skilled foreign workers to move to the province as permanent residents. 

Newcomers can apply for the BC PNP through one of three streams:

Manitoba (MB)

As students are likely to qualify for the IES category, these are the pathways in this stream: 


New Brunswick (NB)

There are three immigration programs specific to New Brunswick:

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) assists skilled newcomers by nominating individuals for permanent residency. Six streams of the NLPNP fit various candidates’ skills:

Northwest Territories (NT)

The Northwest Territories Nomination Program (NTNP) expedites immigration for students, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers who can fill essential positions that can’t be filled locally. It has two streams:

Nova Scotia (NS)

The Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP) accelerates immigration for students, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers who can fill important positions in Nova Scotia. These include:

Nunavut (NU)

Nunavut doesn’t have an immigration nomination program. However, interested students can apply through federal programs. Newcomers may apply for federal programs through two streams:

Ontario (ON)

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP) supports Ontario’s economy by nominating skilled international workers for immigration. These include:


Prince Edward Island (PEI)

The PEI Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) expedites the immigration process for students, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers coming to PEI. It has three streams:

Quebec (QC)

Quebec’s immigration programs accelerate the immigration process for newcomers while helping to address the province’s employment needs:

Saskatchewan (SK)

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) speeds up the immigration process for students, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers who can fill essential openings in Saskatchewan’s economy. Multiple programs are available:

Yukon (YT)

Yukon works with the Canadian Government to nominate foreign skilled workers for accelerated permanent residency through the Yukon Nominee Program. Employers must advertise a job locally, and if the opening isn’t filled, the employer can then offer it to an eligible foreign national. Newcomers can’t immigrate through the YNP without receiving a job offer first. There are three YNP streams:

The YNP also runs a Business Nominee Program.

Consider studying abroad in Canada to expand your opportunities while helping to strengthen the country’s economy and labor force. 

How to extend your temporary status in Canada

Here are a few options for visitors, international students, and temporary foreign workers who want to stay in Canada longer and extend your temporary status in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides a number of options for temporary residents to remain in Canada and extend their temporary status in Canada while awaiting a decision on the permanent or temporary residence.

Maintaining status, for example, means that temporary residents who apply for new temporary status do not have to leave Canada if their documents expire before IRCC makes a decision. Students, visitors, and temporary foreign workers with maintained status can stay in Canada under the same conditions as their previous permit until they hear back about their new application.

Temporary residents applying for permanent residency who are nearing the end of the validity period of their documents may be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

While some temporary residency permits are eligible for extension, certain programs like the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) are not renewable nor extendable, but that does not necessarily mean these workers cannot be eligible for a different work permit.

Although it is an option for many, applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in Canada is not usually desirable because it does not allow you to work or study. Those on a TRV may also be eligible to apply for a Visitor Record, which allows them to stay for more than six months but does not allow them to work or study. In some cases, people who are eligible to be exempt from work permits may be able to stay. This article discusses possible places to stay for people who may benefit from the following:

Check if you qualify to apply for temporary status in Canada

Get in touch with our Experts to simplify your processing!

Work Permits

Canadian work permits are split into two broad categories, those that require a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and those that are LMIA exempt.

An LMIA is intended to show the Canadian government that there is a genuine need for a foreign worker to fill a vacancy. The LMIA process must be completed by the employer, not the employee. When Employment and Development Services Canada (EDSC) issues a positive or neutral LMIA to the employer, the employer provides a copy of the confirmation letter to the worker. The worker then applies to IRCC for a work permit.

In order to address established labour shortages, some work permit programmes provide facilitated LMIA processes. For example, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) allows employers of eligible tech occupations to bypass the LMIA’s advertising requirement, reducing processing time. The processing time for GTS work permits is two weeks. Furthermore, the province of Quebec has its own list of occupations that allows for streamlined LMIA processing.

The majority of temporary foreign workers have work permits that are not subject to the LMIA. More than 315,000 LMIA-exempt work permits were issued in 2021, nearly three times the number of work permits supported by an LMIA. To hire through an LMIA-exempt work permit programme, Canadian employers who post a job that matches an LMIA exemption code must pay a compliance fee and submit an offer of employment through IRCC’s employer portal.

From the government’s perspective, the purpose of LMIA-exempt work permits is to support Canadian interests. The most common LMIA-exempt work permits fall into the categories of significant benefit and reciprocal employment. A “significant benefit” is defined in Canada as a foreign national whose work will benefit Canadians socially, culturally, or economically. Reciprocal employment occurs when Canada has an agreement with another country that allows for the cross-border exchange of workers. The impact on the labour market is considered neutral because foreign workers can have similar opportunities in Canada as Canadian workers can have abroad.

Open work permits, which allow holders to work anywhere in Canada for any employer, are included in the LMIA-exempt category. Work permits issued under CUSMA, CETA, or other free trade agreements with Canada are also included. The same holds true for work permits obtained through the International Experience Canada (IEC) programme. The IEC provides opportunities for youth from specific countries who want to gain Canadian experience.

Study Permits

Obtaining a study permit can allow you to stay in Canada if it makes sense for your career and financial situation. You will also have the option of working part-time during the academic year and full-time during scheduled breaks.

To obtain a study permit, you must first be accepted into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). You can then use your acceptance letter to apply for a study permit in Canada.

After you complete your program, you may be eligible to stay in Canada under the PGWP (if you have never had one before). In addition, you will be eligible for pathways to permanent residence designed specifically for international student graduates who want to extend Temporary status in Canada. 

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

For international student graduates who have completed a post-secondary program at an eligible Designated Learning Institution, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) may be an option to stay in Canada (DLI). It is an open work permit, which means it does not bind the holder to a specific employer or occupation.

Study programs that are longer than eight months but less than two years in length may be eligible for a PGWP that corresponds to the length of their program. International students who have completed two-year or longer programs may be eligible for a three-year PGWP.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows certain permanent residency applicants to stay in Canada after their temporary status expires.

A BOWP is available for the following immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Agri-Food Pilot Program

Since September 2021, foreign workers who may be eligible for the CEC have so far not gotten the chance to apply for permanent residence. Without an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) from IRCC, they cannot get a BOWP. However, they may be able to apply for other work permits depending on their circumstances.

Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP)

Spousal sponsorship may be an option if your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If you apply for sponsorship from within Canada, you are considered an in-land applicant, and you may be eligible for a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP), which is designed specifically for spouses and common-law partners of Canadians who are in the immigration process. 

Spouses of temporary residents may be able to obtain an open work permit as well. Temporary foreign workers must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a work permit that is valid for six months after receiving an open spousal work permit, among other things. The foreign worker must also meet one of four requirements:

  • working in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level of 0, A, or B;
  • working in any occupation when accepted to an Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) stream;
  • working in any occupation holding a provincial or territorial nomination from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP); or
  • working in any occupation and holding a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

There are additional program-specific criteria that must be met depending on the situation of the temporary foreign worker.

Spouses of international students may be able to obtain an open work permit if they can demonstrate to the government that they are in a genuine relationship and that their spouse is enrolled in an eligible programme.

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Canada COVID 19 border measures are now in effect

As of February 28, travellers may enter Canada with an antigen test and other COVID-19 procedures in place.

Canada is enabling passengers to enter the country with a pre-arrival antigen test as of February 28 at 12:01 a.m for COVID 19.

Previously, travelers had to take a molecular test, such as a PCR test, within 72 hours before their scheduled flight or border crossing.

Before crossing the border into Canada, all travelers aged five and above must take the COVID-19 test. Incoming travelers will be able to provide an antigen test result taken within one day of their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border under the new rules. The test can’t be done at home; it has to be done by a laboratory, healthcare organization, or telemedicine service, and it has to be approved by the country where it was acquired. The use of PCR testing is still permitted. For pre-arrival PCR tests, no new rules have been implemented.

Unvaccinated children would no longer have to isolate for 14 days, and international flights would resume at all airports, in addition to the abolition of the PCR test requirement.

Schedule a FREE CONSULTING SESSION with one of our expert to check if you qualify to apply for Temporary VISA to Canada.

If you've recovered from COVID-19, read on.

Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 after recovering are allowed to board a plane, but only under certain circumstances. As part of the pre-arrival test requirements, you must give a positive COVID-19 molecular test on a specimen acquired at least 10 days and no more than 180 days prior to entering Canada.


All travelers must still use ArriveCAN to provide their necessary information. Prior to arrival in Canada, visitors can submit their evidence of vaccination in English or French, as well as a quarantine plan, using either the desktop or mobile app.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14 days in an appropriate location and perform an obligatory COVID-19 test on arrival and on day 8.

Fully-vaccinated travelers

Fully-vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine upon arriving in Canada, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • meet pre-entry testing requirements;
  • have no symptoms;
  • submit all required COVID-19 information to ArriveCAN and present their ArriveCAN receipt, pre-departure test results,  paper or digital
  • proof of vaccination documents before they board their flight to Canada;
  • have a suitable quarantine plan in case they don’t qualify for the exemption.

Mandatory random tests upon arrival

Border services officers may randomly select you for a mandatory arrival test.

If you are fully vaccinated and are randomly selected for an obligatory arrival test, you must do it on the day you enter Canada as ordered. The test may be administered at the airport, or officials may provide you with a self-swab kit to complete within 24 hours after entering the country.

You do not have to wait for the results if you are randomly selected for the on-arrival test. You are not need to quarantine while awaiting your results, and you are free to fly to your final destination and connect planes.

You can expedite the procedure by enrolling in advance with the testing provider for the airport where you will arrive using the same email address you used for ArriveCAN, according to the Canadian government.

As COVID cases decline, Canada will relax travel requirements

Canada will ease entry for fully vaccinated international travelers beginning Feb. 28 as COVID-19 cases decline. Allowing a rapid antigen test for travelers rather than a molecular one, officials said on Tuesday.

Antigen tests are less expensive than molecular tests in Canada and can provide results in minutes.

The new measures, which include random testing for vaccinated visitors entering Canada, were announced at a briefing by federal government ministers.


“These changes are possible not only because we have passed Omicron’s peak, but also because Canadians across the country have listened to science and experts,” Duclos told reporters.

According to the health ministry, approximately 80% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, and more than 40% have received a booster dose.

The global travel advisory for Canadians is being updated as well. Previously, the government advised citizens to avoid all non-essential travel, but now it only advises them to exercise caution.

“Though today’s announcement brings us one step closer to where our industry needs to be,” the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable industry group said in a statement. “However, by requiring pre-departure rapid antigen tests, the government missed an opportunity to align with other international jurisdictions that have removed pre-departure test requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.”

“Today’s news by the federal government is a step forward both for travelers, our business, and the Canadian economy, which relies on commerce and tourism,” said Suzanne Acton-Gervais, interim president of the National Airlines Council of Canada.

As coronavirus infection rates decline, several jurisdictions, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, have announced a relaxation of restrictions imposed during the epidemic.

On Monday, Ontario announced that it will accelerate its plan to eliminate proof-of-vaccination requirements and ease pandemic-related capacity constraints for many enterprises, while Alberta, in the west, ended its mask requirements for schoolchildren.

For weeks, protesters have been blocking border crossings and paralyzing Ottawa’s downtown, demanding that governments lift pandemic restrictions. To pacify them, provincial premiers have refused relaxing restrictions, claiming that the limitations are no longer necessary to contain COVID-19.

Canada New Immigration Policy 2022

Canada's new Immigration policy aims to fill labour shortages and boost the Canadian economy.

Canada’s Immigration system has contributed to the development of Canada as the prosperous, varied, and friendly country it is today. Newcomers enrich and improve our communities by working to create jobs, care for our loved ones, and support local businesses on a daily basis. They’ve been on the front lines of the pandemic, working in critical industries like health care, transportation, and manufacturing. Canada would not have been able to overcome obstacles in vital industries and sectors of the economy in the last two years if it hadn’t been for them. Immigrants are more important than ever before in ensuring Canada’s continued success.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, today tabled the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, which lays out an ambitious but responsible immigration strategy that will help the Canada’s economy recover and fuel post-pandemic growth, all while strengthening communities and industries that rely on immigration across the country.

The pandemic has brought attention to the contributions of newcomers to the well-being of our communities and the economy as a whole. Last year, Canada welcomed almost 405,000 new permanent residents, the highest number ever in a single year. Despite the fact that many of the jobs lost during the epidemic have been recovered, there are still hundreds of thousands of open opportunities in all sectors. With 5 million Canadians expected to retire by the end of the decade, the worker-to-retiree ratio will plummet to just 3:1. This is a clear indication that additional immigration is required for economic reasons.

The 2022–2024 Immigration Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of Canada’s population, including 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023, and 451,000 in 2024, to ensure Canada has the workers it needs to fill critical labour market gaps and support a strong economy in the future. This plan builds on the previous levels plan by putting a greater emphasis on assisting our economic recovery and post-pandemic growth.

To help support these higher levels, the Government of Canada recently announced a plan to modernise Canada’s immigration system in order to boost economic recovery and improve client experience, which will aid in addressing key challenges faced by our clients, such as reducing inventories and providing the predictable processing times that they expect and deserve.

This strategy will aid in attracting and retaining newcomers in areas facing severe economic, labour, and demographic issues. It will also boost Francophone immigration outside of Quebec, while also assisting newcomers in settling in and building Francophone communities across the country. We’re aiming for 4.4 percent of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec by 2023 as part of our Francophone Immigration Strategy.

The following are some of the plan's highlights:

  • By 2024, admissions will account for 1.14 percent of the Canadian population.
    With over 60% of admissions in the Economic Class, there is a long-term concentration on economic growth.
  • Special measures for giving permanent residency to refugee claimants working in health care during the pandemic, such as the special procedures for awarding permanent residence to refugee claimants working in health care during the epidemic.
  • Support for global crises by offering a safe haven for people fleeing persecution through humanitarian immigration.
  • Temporary residents accepted through the time-limited paths for vital employees, which began in April 2021, will be granted permanent status, allowing them to stay in Canada.

This approach also emphasises the importance of family reunification and aids in the preservation of the 12-month processing norm for spouses and children.

Canada is sticking to its worldwide humanitarian commitments, including a pledge to resettle at least 40,000 Afghans over the next two years. As a result of these efforts, more than 7,550 Afghan refugees today call Canada home. We are utilising all possible options to facilitate safe passage for people in Afghanistan by collaborating with regional partners.

The Immigration Levels Plan for 2022–2024 will help Canada maintain its position as one of the world’s top talent destinations, laying a solid basis for post-pandemic economic growth while reconnecting families with their loved ones and fulfilling Canada’s humanitarian obligations.

“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today. From farming and fishing to manufacturing, healthcare and the transportation sector, Canada relies on immigrants. We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there. Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of IRCC
Canada requires international students more than ever

In the 2019-2020 academic year, international students made up 18 percent of Canada’s post-secondary enrollment, up seven percentage points from 2015-2016. 1 This data illustrates that international student enrollment has continued to be critical to Canada’s post-secondary education’s expansion and success. Improved access to global education helps Canada and the globe become stronger and more successful.

According to a new study from Ontario’s auditor general, domestic student enrollment at Ontario’s colleges has decreased by 15% during 2012-2013. 2 However, the most recent data from Statistics Canada shows that Ontario is not alone in this tendency. This new data set sheds light on the numbers behind many of the international studies patterns we’ve seen around the country.

Total Enrollment in Canada

The overall number of domestic students enrolled in Canadian post-secondary schools fell by 1% in 2019-2020, after hovering around 1.8 million for several years. At the same time, approximately 388,000 overseas students enrolled in Canadian universities and colleges, indicating a 14 percent increase year over year. Over the five-year period, the rapid growth of international student enrolment has captured a bigger percentage of Canada’s total enrollment.


In 2019-2020, there were 159,000 more international students enrolled in Canadian post-secondary schools than in 2015-2016, a 70 percent increase. From 2016-2017 through 2019-2020, year-over-year growth in international student enrollment topped 10% each year. As domestic student enrollment dwindled, this growth was critical to the success of Canada’s post-secondary industry. It also demonstrates Canada’s international strength in attracting and educating students from all around the world.

Enrollment in Canada, Province by Province

The stacked bar charts below indicate which provinces increasingly relied on international student enrollment to keep their post-secondary schools growing from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020.

Enrollment at the University Level

International student enrollment at universities increased by 40% from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020. During this time, domestic university enrollment remained steady, growing by less than 1%. The following graph compares the total percentage of foreign and domestic student enrollment at university level by province from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020.

Enrollment at the College Level

In comparison to universities, colleges in Canada have seen more fluctuation in international and domestic student enrollment. The chart below compares the total percentage of foreign and domestic student enrollment at the college level by province from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020.

Travelling to canada mandatory vaccine

International students must be fully vaccinated to enter Canada from January15 2022.

From January 15, 2022, Travel to Canada cautiously.  Travelers must be completely vaccinated to enter Canada, according to the Canadian government. This decision affects overseas students visiting Canada as well as people who were previously allowed to enter the country without having had all of their vaccinations.

Changes to testing and quarantine exemptions for certain passengers entering Canada, regardless of citizenship, will also be made, according to the government. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreigners are currently only permitted to enter Canada if they meet certain criteria.


Travelling to Canada: What international students should know

International students visiting Canada should get the full series of immunizations or a combination of vaccines that the Canadian government recognises. At least 14 days before entering the country, the final dose must be given. The following vaccines are currently licenced in Canada:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty
  • Moderna Spikevax
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria/COVISHIELD
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
  • Sinopharm BIBP
  • Sinovac/CoronaVac/PiCoVacc

Fully vaccinated travelers must also meet all other entry requirements, which include being asymptomatic upon arrival, possessing a paper or digital copy of their proof of vaccination in English or French (or a certified translation), and having an acceptable quarantine plan, if necessary.

International students with a valid study permit or who had been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020; and international students attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that had obtained prior approval from the provincial government of its response plan to control the spread of COVID-19 were previously allowed to travel to Canada.

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Canada’s Top 10 Universities in 2022

It can take several hours of research to figure out which university is the greatest fit for your study abroad experience. Fortunately, Times Higher Education (THE) performs the legwork and releases its World University Rankings each year to make this selection easier. Today, we’ll look at Canada’s top ten universities.

Universities are ranked in five categories by THE:

  • Teaching (overall learning environment)
  • Research (income, reputation, and volume)
  • Citations (level of influence the research has)
  • International Outlook (percentages of international students and staff)
  • Industry Income (knowledge transfer to industry)

Keep reading to find out what academic institution could be the perfect fit for you!


10. University of Waterloo

Global Rank: 201–250

The University of Waterloo is ranked #10 on Canada’s finest universities list for 2022. The main campus is in Waterloo, Ontario, a Canadian powerhouse for technology and innovation, and it receives an outstanding 87.1 out of 100 for worldwide view. The University of Waterloo has a diverse student body, with overseas students accounting for approximately a quarter of the university’s 33,613 students.

Fun Fact: Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary is a University of Waterloo alumni.


9. Simon Fraser University

Global Rank: 201–250

Simon Fraser University is located in Burnaby, British Columbia and is one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities. It boasts a nearly perfect score of 92.1 for international outlook, and a solid score of 81.5 for citations. The university has a ratio of 55 to 45 female to male students, and 31% of its 27,105 student body is made up of international students.


8. University of Calgary

Global Rank: 201–250

Founded in 1966, the University of Calgary is located in the Albertan city of Calgary. Around a fifth of its 33,099 students (21%) are international and come from over 125 countries. It scored well for international outlook at 80.4, and 65.6 for industry outcome, making it a great choice for international students. The University of Calgary also has a ratio of 18.2 students for every staff member.


7. University of Ottawa

Global Rank: 162 (tie)

Students at the University of Ottawa have the option of studying in English, French, or both. The university’s outstanding score of 81.1 for international outlook reflects its commitment on cultural justice, inclusiveness, and diversity. It also has 35,791 full-time students and a high citation score of 83.3. This means that international students studying in the United States can expect average to bigger class sizes.

Fun Fact: The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world.


6. University of Alberta

Global Rank: 125

The University of Alberta is a public research university that is based in Edmonton, the province’s capital. It has a good international viewpoint score of 88.9, and a reasonable citations score of 71.9. There is one staff member for every 21.9 students at the University of Alberta, with a female to male student ratio of 55 to 45.


5. University of Montreal

Global Rank: 88 (tie)

The University of Montreal is one of Canada’s three leading university research hubs, located in the heart of bustling Montreal. It receives good marks for international view (85.7) and citations (81.7). International students make up 23% of the university’s student body, with a female-to-male ratio of 59 to 41.


4. McMaster University

Global Rank: 80 (tie)

McMaster University is one of just four Canadian universities to routinely rank among the top 100 universities in the world. Its practically perfect scores of 98.3 for industry income and 93.1 for citations can be attributable to this. International students that opt to study at McMaster benefit from smaller class sizes, as there are 26,112 full-time students.


3. McGill University

Global Rank: 44

McGill University is ranked number three on this year’s ranking. The university is the oldest in Montreal and one of only three in Quebec that offers English-taught courses. McGill has an exceptional student-to-staff ratio of 12.6 students per staff member. International students account for over a third of the university’s 31,581 pupils.


2. University of British Columbia

Global Rank: 37

The University of British Columbia, situated between the mountains and the ocean on Canada’s picturesque West Coast, should be on any nature lover’s radar. It has a strong global outlook score of 94.9, as well as a citation score of 89.4. The University of British Columbia has one staff person for every 18.9 students, with a female-to-male student ratio of 55 to 45.


1. University of Toronto

Global Rank: 18 (tie)

Number one in 2022 is the University of Toronto. The university is located in the largest and most culturally diverse city in Canada. This makes it a great option for international students looking for a major city study abroad experience. For worldwide outlook, citations, and research, the University of Toronto received practically perfect marks. Students can benefit from being a part of a varied school, since international students make up 25% of the over 76,000 students on campus.

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How to Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy During the Winter
How to keep your Mind and Body Healthy during the Winter

The winter months provide a number of difficulties for many of us. It might be tough to find desire to undertake activities that appear to be simpler in the summer. Spending too much time at home might have a detrimental impact on your mental and physical well-being. International students, who face a unique set of problems, may be more affected by these consequences. We’re looking at many strategies to keep your mind and body healthy over the winter months to help you beat the winter blues.

Walk Once a Day

People spend less time outside as the weather becomes cooler. For some, this means more time binge-watching Netflix and nibbling on chips on the couch. Allowing yourself time to unwind is crucial, but it shouldn’t take up the majority of your time. Consider taking up a new interest instead. Hobbies can provide people a sense of accomplishment and a purpose to work towards, therefore enhancing their mental condition and providing joy to their days.

Establishing a walking plan with a friend is one method to make your walks more enjoyable. Combining physical activity with social interaction can increase self-esteem, stave off despair, and improve bad moods. If you prefer to walk alone, take a stroll through your new city while listening to your favorite album or podcast. Either way, be sure to bundle up before heading out!

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Pick Up a Hobby

Make a daily commitment to go for a stroll (unless your local weather advisory recommends against it). This may appear to be a poor idea for getting some exercise during the winter months. However, evidence suggests that even 15 minutes of brisk walking each day can significantly improve your physical and mental health. Walking improves your mood through increasing blood flow to both the body and the brain. Improved sleep, weight loss, and enhanced stamina and energy are just a few of the major advantages of walking. Not to mention that it’s completely free and can be done from anywhere!

Science has proven that having a pastime has major health benefits. A hobby can help you relax and de-stress while also improving your overall health. When choosing a hobby, go for something that will provide you happiness in the near run.

Consider something you enjoyed doing as a child as a starting point. Snowboarding, cooking, art, ice skating, or photography are all possibilities. Filling your time with activities that bring you joy is an important step in maintaining your mind and, depending on the interest, your body healthy during the winter months.

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If you’re comfortable with it and your country’s COVID regulations allow it, consider volunteering. Volunteers benefit not only the communities they serve, but they also benefit their own mental health. In a study published in the United Kingdom in 2020, experts discovered that people who volunteer feel more fulfilled in their life and have better overall health than those who do not volunteer.

As an international student, volunteering is a great way to improve your mental health, help those around you, and meet people. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, take the following steps to get started:

  1. Identify the causes you are passionate about.
  2. Consider your knowledge, availability, and skill set.
  3. Research volunteer opportunities at your school or in your community.
  4. Check out local volunteering websites.
  5. Learn the expectations of the volunteer position.
  6. Apply for the position.
  7. Follow up with the organization after you apply. (Remember, charitable organizations are often run by volunteers who don’t work full-time, so they may take a few days to respond.)

Whether you spend your time volunteering at animal shelters, retirement homes, art galleries, or coaching a sports team, you may find that helping those in need will, in turn, help you meet your needs.

Seek Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as “winter depression,” is brought on by the transition from warmer to colder seasons. SAD accounts for 10% of all depression cases in Canada, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

If you think you may be impacted by SAD, be proactive in your treatment of it. To do so, you must first be able to recognize the common symptoms. Here are a few of them:

  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Experiencing low energy levels
  • Feeling depressed most days
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Experiencing problems with sleeping 
  • Feeling agitated or sluggish

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should get therapy to assist you get through the next colder months. Light therapy is a widely used treatment that has been shown to help persons with SAD. Before beginning light therapy, see a doctor or other health professional, as this treatment may have side effects. Light treatment entails sitting near an artificial light source that causes a chemical change in the brain, improving mood and alleviating SAD symptoms. More than half of those suffering from SAD find considerable relief from light therapy.

Make use of the suggestions above to keep your mind and body in good shape throughout these darker and colder months!

New Travel Measures Canada
Canada: New Travel Measures

Key Points:

  • Travel restrictions for Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe have been lifted.
  • Short-term pre-arrival test exemptions are being lifted.


Travel restrictions for tourists returning from ten particular countries have been eased, as have travel pre-arrival regulations. Beginning December 18, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., travellers coming from or transiting through Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe will be permitted to re-enter Canada. Click here for more information on the omicron version in Canada.

Short-trip pre-arrival test exemptions will be lifted by the Canadian government on December 21, 2021. All excursions will now require a pre-arrival negative PCR test result, even if leaving the country for less than 72 hours.

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What are the Changes?

The Canadian government will lift existing travel restrictions that were imposed on November 27, 2021. In addition, regardless of trip length, the government will require all tourists to obtain a pre-arrival negative PCR test.

Looking Ahead 

Due to changing global travel measures, the Canadian government is advising Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid non-essential travel outside of the country. Continue to check the websites of the Canadian government and Envoy for additional updates and information.

Sending Top-Quality Students to Partner Institutions
Sending High-Quality Students to Partner Institutions

At Oblivion, our mission to educate the world guides everything we do. We’re committed to providing students with the best possible study abroad application experience, from their first online search to the moment they step foot on campus. Since 2016, we’ve helped more than 200,000 students from over 125 countries apply to programs at 1,500+ partner institutions in Canada

But throughout our journey, we haven’t just helped our students directly. We’ve developed an industry-leading network of recruitment partners around the world who guide students through the application process. And we’ve also provided our partner schools with industry data, research, and tools to help drive international recruitment and student diversity.

I’ll show how we assist our partner schools in attracting excellent students from all across the world. I’ll go over the student acceptance rates at some of our most long-standing partner schools, as well as how we collaborate with our recruitment partners to improve our students’ experience.

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Student Acceptance Rates At Oblivion Services

We collaborate with our recruitment partners throughout the student application process to assist students apply to programs and schools that are a good fit for their objectives and dreams. We ensure that our partner schools receive high-quality applications from students who are eager about enrolling at their school by matching candidates to the correct institution and program.

This emphasis on high-quality applications aids in the development of trust between our candidates and partner schools. Oblivion Services students are therefore more likely to acquire a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from their preferred university. Also, schools will be able to make LOA decisions more quickly, making the application process more efficient and effective for everyone.

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Case Study: Indian Students in 2021

Consider the Indian students who have applied through the Oblivion Services Platform so far in 2021 as a case study. 2 We’ve observed a robust rebound from the Indian market in 2021 after a minor pandemic-related decrease in 2020. In fact, in 2021, we expect to assist more than twice as many Indian students as we did in 2020.

The bulk of these Indian applicants have already received LOA decisions from our partner schools for 2021. A varied collection of 45 public and private colleges and universities in Canada were responsible for more than half of these judgments. What makes these institutions special, though? In the year 2021, Oblivion Services had at least 50 applications from Indian students. Over 95% of those Indian student candidates earned a Letter of Acceptance for each and every one of them.

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Student Visa Approval Rates

These astounding acceptance percentages attest to the high caliber of our students and the quality of applications that our partner schools anticipate. Students at Oblivion Services, on the other hand, don’t just have a high LOA acceptance rate. Students from Oblivion Services are also more likely to be granted a student visa.


In 2020, Oblivion Services students had an almost 20% higher chance of getting their Canadian study permit approved than all other international applicants. While average Canadian study permit acceptance rates increased by ten percentage points from January to July 2021, Oblivion Services students’ study permit approval rates remained 20 percent higher.

The good news doesn’t end there, though. Oblivion Services students enrolling to Canadian colleges were 5% more likely than the overall applicant average to acquire an accepted student visa in the first half of 2021. Our focus on the end-to-end student application process and experience clearly aids colleges in attracting top student talent from all around the world.

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Oblivion Services has a broad network of qualified and vetted recruitment partners who can assist your institution in reaching the best students in a variety of markets. We can ensure superior application quality with our advanced applicant screening procedure, which will result in higher enrollment. Contact us to see how we can assist your institution in attracting excellent students from around the world.

How to Choose a Bachelor’s Degree in Canada

If it’s time to begin your search for a bachelor’s degree, but you’re unsure of what you’d like to study, then keep reading. Canada is home to some of the most academically renowned colleges and universities in the world. These institutions’ display of scholarly excellence, in combination with the vibrant student life they provide, makes it easy to understand why they’re two of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students. Here, we’ll explore some of the major factors to consider when choosing a bachelor’s degree in Canada to help you make your most informed choice.

Career Prospects

When choosing a bachelor’s degree in Canada, it’s essential to look for a program that will help you enter a specific career after graduation. Ensure you are aligning your interests with your future goals and setting yourself up to succeed in a field where careers are in-demand. Questions you may want to ask yourself to pinpoint a career that appeals to you include:

  • What would my level of job satisfaction be in this role?
  • What does career progression look like in this field?
  • What is the salary and earning potential of this career?
  • Will I have a high level of job security in this role?
  • Will this career put me in a good position to retire in the future?

Answering these questions can help you narrow down your list of career options. Depending on the career you choose to pursue after you graduate, you can narrow down your program search accordingly.

Course Duration

Bachelor’s degree programs in Canada typically take three to four years of full-time study to complete. 

The first two years of your degree will usually include commonly required courses, such as history, math, literature, science, and communications. This helps students develop a broad understanding across different subject areas, as well as hone their research and communication skills. After completing these introductory courses, some students may reconsider their program of study and change their declared major. Changing your program can impact the time it takes to complete your degree, typically adding an additional year of study. 

Course duration can become a major cost factor for students. The longer that an international student’s program is, the more they’ll have to spend on tuition, rent, and daily living expenses. This makes accelerated bachelor’s degrees an attractive option if you’re looking to minimize costs. Not every university in Canada offers its students the opportunity to take accelerated bachelor’s degrees, but many do. If you’re open to an accelerated academic schedule and excited to start your career as soon as possible, consider a bachelor’s degree at a school that will help you fast-track your studies.



Courtesy of Mount Royal University.

Work Experience

Many Canadian educational institutions offer students the chance to gain hands-on experience through an internship, co-op placement, or work experience. While these three terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences. However, each provides students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to practical work experiences. 

International students can also apply to Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP), which allows eligible applicants to work and live in Canada for up to three years. 

Canada is currently open to international students, and most academic institutions are accepting applications for January, May, and September 2022 intakes. Due to COVID-19, there’s been an influx of applications from students wanting to study abroad, and many colleges and universities have already hit capacity for January. Apply as soon as possible to secure your spot.

4 Ways International Students Can Adjust to the New Culture

If you’re an international student starting your study abroad journey, you might be curious about potential cultural differences and what adapting to a new culture might be like. Experiencing cultural differences can help you to understand other cultures and develop a valuable, global outlook. However, adjusting to a new culture won’t happen overnight, which is why we’ve put together our top four tips for making this transition a smooth one for you.

Adjusting to a new culture while studying abroad can be stressful at times. Exercising is a great way to stimulate the release of dopamine which can help to reduce stress. Hitting the gym, practicing yoga, or joining one of your school’s intramural teams are all effective outlets to relieve stress. 

You can also join a student club on campus or discover new hobbies that encourage socializing with others. 

1. Reduce Stress

Adjusting to a new culture while studying abroad can be stressful at times. Exercising is a great way to stimulate the release of dopamine which can help to reduce stress. Hitting the gym, practicing yoga, or joining one of your school’s intramural teams are all effective outlets to relieve stress. 

You can also join a student club on campus or discover new hobbies that encourage socializing with others. 

You can also consider implementing the following tips into your daily routine to help reduce stress:

  • Follow online workout routines on YouTube
  • Join student clubs online (many schools have moved these groups to platforms like Facebook)
  • Listen to music
  • Learn how to cook new meals by watching online tutorials

2. Keep an Open-Mind

Never underestimate the power of perspective. When interacting with people in your new host country, ensure you keep an open mind. Consider how their culture and background influence their behaviour. This is critical when integrating yourself into a new environment. It allows you to put yourself in their shoes and gain perspective on things that may not initially make sense to you. Moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture doesn’t mean you have to alter your customs and values. But just as you want your classmates to understand and embrace your differences, you should aim to do the same.

3. Be Curious and Ask Questions

When adapting to a new culture, it’s natural that you will have many questions and be curious about your surroundings. Whether you want to know where the best hiking spots and breakfast joints are, or you’re wondering what a particular phrase means—don’t be shy about asking questions or seeking help when you need it. You’ll find that people are eager to share their knowledge with others.

4. Seek Support from Other International Students

During your study abroad journey, you’ll be surrounded by other international students who might also be sharing similar experiences as they adjust to a new culture. Chatting about the local culture and ways to adjust to it can help you better understand your new country and its residents. 

Many universities and colleges offer mentoring programs that match upper-year international students with first-year students from the same country. This allows the incoming student to learn about their host country’s culture, ask questions, and meet new friends. Most colleges and universities also offer international student clubs. These clubs typically host a number of gatherings both in person and virtually throughout the school year, allowing international students to form a community. 

Check your school resources to see if it offers one of these programs or clubs.

Canada Resumes Direct Flights To and From India

By Oblivion Services

Transport Canada has given the go-ahead for flights to resume to and from India following a five-month suspension which expired on September 27, 2021:

“After the restriction on direct flights expires, passengers eligible to enter Canada and travelling on those flights will need to:

  • obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from the Genestrings Laboratory, located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building (ACB) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • perform this test within 18 hours before their scheduled departure
  • present the test report with a QR code issued by this laboratory to the air operator before boarding

Alternatively, travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 can present a positive molecular test issued by a certified laboratory in India. The date of collection must have been between 14 and 180 days before their scheduled departure to Canada.

Airlines will refuse boarding to any traveler who’s unable to meet these requirements. 

Alternatively, travelers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 can present a positive molecular test issued by a certified laboratory in India. The date of collection must have been between 14 and 180 days before their scheduled departure to Canada.

Airlines will refuse boarding to any traveler who’s unable to meet these requirements. 

Indirect Flights

Passengers who travel from India to Canada via an indirect route still need to provide a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

Keep in mind:

  • certain countries don’t allow entry or transit of passengers arriving from India or of passengers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 testing for passengers in transit might not be available in all international airports or third countries
  • if you test positive during transit, you may face local quarantine regulations or be returned to your point of departure

Carefully consider your itinerary, transit options and entry requirements for third countries (excerpt from Transport Canada).”

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Important Information from Air Canada

“Please note that Air Canada’s requirements for boarding the flight from India to Canada have now changed. The only accepted COVID-19 tests are an RT-PCR test or a rapid PCR test that must be taken no more than 18 hours before your departing Air Canada flight to Canada from the COVID-19 Testing Centre & Lounge across from Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Air Canada requires either of these specific tests as no other test from any other clinic within India will be accepted, even if you are connecting from a different city. 

You may also be able to travel if you provide proof of a certified positive PCR test result taken between 14 and 180 days before your scheduled departure flight to Canada.”

What Does This Mean for International Students?

All travelers, including international students, will now be able to fly between Delhi to Toronto and vice versa 

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.

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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