Canadian immigration easier for international PhD students

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

Canada is making it easier for foreign PhD students with two years completed PhD study to become permanent residents, Minister of State of Science and Technology Gary Goodyear announced yesterday.

The Department of Immigration aims to accept up to 1,000 international PhD students per year as permanent residents through the federal skilled worker visa program.

According to Goodyear, the Canadian immigration department is encouraging immigration of PhD students as the country needs more people with knowledge in the field of science, technology, engineering and maths.

"Research in these fields contributes greatly to our overall national competitiveness in the global market," Goodyear said.

"Attracting and retaining immigrants with high levels of skill will help Canada compete in the knowledge-based world economy," he added. "With this initiative, we are telling the innovators of tomorrow that Canada is ready to welcome them and their ideas."

Beginning 5, November 2011, international PhD students will be eligible to submit applications for processing and receive federal skilled worker visas. To be eligible, students must have completed at least two years of study toward a PhD and remain in good academic standing at a provincially recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada.

Canadian immigration selects visa applicants under the skilled worker visa category based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English or French, and other criteria that they say have been shown to allow in skilled immigrants most likely to become economically active and find suitable work in Canada.

Recent graduates from Canadian PhD programs will also be eligible to apply, so long as they apply within 12 months of their graduation.

"This initiative will provide Canadian universities with one more competitive edge in attracting and retaining top international talent to pursue their doctoral studies in Canada," said Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. "We welcome this announcement."

International students account for about one-quarter of the students enrolled in Canadian PhD programs.