Canadian immigration has announced recently that the number of student visas for Indian students studying in Canada has doubled. This is due to a new program between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). The announcement was made by Tim Uppal a member of parliament and James Knight, President and CEO of the ACCC on behalf of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
The Student Partners Program a pilot project began in April 2009 between Canada's visa offices in India and twenty member colleges of the ACCC. The intention of the program was to increase the approval rate for study permit applications at participating Canadian colleges.
"The Student Partners Program has resulted in an increase in the number of Indian students on our college campuses," said Immigration Minister Kenney. "International students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study."
Canadian immigration also had the following to say:
- In 2008 India was seventh with 3,244 Indian students studying in Canada.
- International student numbers in Canada have more than doubled to 178,000 since 1998. Canadian immigration also says that this resulted in employment for over 83,000 Canadians last year.
- In 2009 a study commissioned by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada showed that international students contributed more than $6.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 2008.
"International students contribute to the cultural life and economic success of colleges and institutes and of the communities they serve. In partnership with CIC, we have doubled the approval rate of visas for students from India coming to Canadian colleges. We will work with CIC to expand the initiative to other ACCC members," said Mr. Knight.
In the first nine months of the program Canadian immigration visa offices in India had over 4,000 applicants for the program. The approval rate for Indian students in September 2009, was more than double the approval rate for the same colleges in the previous year.
Canadian immigration also said that 95 percent of Indian students were in good standing at ACCC colleges. Processing times are faster than normal taking on average about two and a half weeks.
Other aspects of the Canadian Student program are as follows:
- Applicants must provide verifiable documentation.
- Canadian Colleges have to report on whether students show up.
- The Canadian Student Partnership program makes sure that the safety, security and health of Canadians are given the utmost importance.
- Indian students coming under the Student Partnership Program come under the same screening requirements as visitors and other students.
"This type of program benefits both our country and those who participate in it," said Immigration Minister Kenney. "When all is said and done, these graduates may remain in Canada and apply to immigrate under the Canada Experience Class. They would make Canada their home and continue to contribute to our country's social and economic fabric."
Canadian community colleges offer many attractive programs to train Indian students and others around the World so making it easier for them to find work. The Canadian Government is also looking at other ways of encouraging overseas students to study in Canada.