The new visa offices, planned for the cities of Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Jinan and Shenyang, are expected to process applications for permits for temporary stays in Canada. This may include applications for Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs), study permits, and work permits. Currently, all Chinese nationals who wish to enter Canada are required to apply for a TRV. This includes international students from China.
China : An Emerging Market
More international students come to Canada from China than from any other country, by a large margin. The number of Chinese international students choosing Canada as a destination has risen significantly over the past ten years.
Given the growing number of Chinese nationals coming to study in Canada, it is understandable that McCallum is pushing for more visa offices across the country. The proposed locations for these new offices are spread strategically throughout China, in order to improve accessibility.
While the current application process is online or by mail, depending on the type of application, rumoured changes to the application process may require applicants to present themselves at a visa office. Requiring applicants to go to a visa office location in person “means you have to fan out across the country,” McCallum said, in order to remain accessible for as many potential applicants as possible.
The Transition from Student to Permanent Resident
As previously reported, in recent months the Canadian Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, has repeatedly expressed his support for international students who choose Canada as a destination for their studies. Referring to international students in Canada as “the cream of the crop”, McCallum has pledged to ease the transition to permanent resident status for those international graduates who wish to remain and make Canada their home.
One anonymous government official wrote in an email to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that: “We want to facilitate the entry of people who can make some great contributions to Canada while they are here, and hopefully be able to retain them.”
The rate of transition from study permit to permanent residence status has gradually grown since 1990, but the current process is not as smooth as could be hoped for. This has led Minister McCallum to say that students have been “shortchanged”, particularly with respect to the Express Entry immigration selection system, which was first launched in January, 2015. McCallum’s department is expected to make changes to the Express Entry system in the near future in order to better facilitate international students’ transition to permanent residence.
International students may also immigrate permanently through other programs, such as the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) or — if they have studied in Quebec — the Quebec Experience Class.
The Liberal government recognizes that international graduates from Canadian study programs are highly educated, motivated, and already at ease with Canadian culture and lifestyle. As these factors are desirable in employees, it is recognized that international graduates may integrate successfully into the Canadian workforce. During his visit in China, McCallum emphasised that “Canada is an aging country, so we need new young immigrants to support our economy and help make it grow.”
During his visit to China, McCallum clearly outlined the Liberal government’s continued support of Chinese nationals who wish to study, and ultimately settle, in Canada. Chinese nationals who are eager to study in Canada may expect that if they start a Canadian study program now, the pathway to Canadian permanent residence may be smoother by the time they graduate.
To learn more about studying in Canada, click here. There are also a range of tools and resources available for prospective students in Canada, including Canada School Search and School Match Canada.
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