24 February 2009

Canada to expand foreign student programme

Last week, the Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney announced the Government would be expanding the international student programme this year.

According to The Star, Kenney said at a conference that Canada needs to step up its Canadian student visa programme in order to compete with Australia, who is currently attracting ten times more Indian students than Canada.

The international student market can be very lucrative for local economies, and Kenney is keen to take a slice of the educational pie and provide young, educated graduates a pathway to Canadian immigration.

Canada had 176,116 overseas students studying in the country at the end of 2007, and each are eligible to apply for the new Canadian Experience Class, which offers international graduates the opportunity to apply for a permanent Canadian visa and residency.

Although Kenney did not say how much the Government would expand the programme, he did comment that it would not only be the Canadian economy that would be the winner. 

"They have a huge advantage because of the Canadian Experience Class.  Canada is looking to Asia as well as India for potential students.  Universities are happy to get them, because foreign students are a source of revenue," he added.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for Canada visa and immigration services.

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