Fast-track your studies in Canada from India

Kareem El-Assal
Published: June 8, 2020

India is by far the leading source of international students that move to Canada.

Last year, nearly 35 per cent of Canada’s new student visas were issued to Indians, which was well ahead of the second-leading country (China, at 21 per cent).

In total, Indians represent 34 per cent of the over 640,000 international students in Canada.

Why Canada is attractive to Indian students

India is such a major source of Canada’s international students for reasons including:

  • India has a large middle-class population with high levels of English proficiency.
  • Canada is a more affordable option than other countries and yet it offers a very high standard of education. Indian students can also work while studying in Canada to help cover their living expenses.
  • Indians are attracted by Canada’s reputation as being an open and multicultural society, and that the country has a large Indian diaspora.
  • Canada offers many options for Indians that want to study, work, and eventually immigrate. Indian students are well-placed to obtain Canadian permanent residence due to their high levels of English proficiency, educational and professional experience gained in India, as well as the experiences they gain in Canada.

See if you are eligible to study in Canada in fall 2020

Many Indians will still want to begin their studies in Canada in the fall of 2020, despite the interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to COVID-19, Canada has introduced many policies to help accommodate the immigration goals of people around the world.

For example, Canada has recently stated that it will accept incomplete study permit applications if an individual is not able to get all the documentation they need because of coronavirus disruptions. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will wait for applicants to obtain such documentation, rather than reject the applicant.

In addition, Canada has made a major reform that will enable international students to begin their Canadian program online in fall 2020 and remain eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

The PGWP enables international students to gain professional work experience in Canada for up to three years. Such work experience makes the Canadian immigration applications of international students more competitive.

Step-by-step guide: How to study in Canada from India in fall 2020

If you are also looking to study in Canada from India, here is how you can do so, including how you can fast-track the process:

Step 1: Explore Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to identify which programs interest you. DLIs are universities, colleges, and other educational institutions authorized by the government to welcome international students. There are over 1,500 DLIs across Canada, with two-thirds of them located in Ontario and Quebec.

Step 2: Apply to the DLIs of your choice. DLIs will consider you based on factors such as your transcripts, English language skills, how the program fits into your career plans, and professional and academic recommendations. DLIs that accept you will provide you with a Letter of Acceptance (LOA).

Step 3: Indians that wish to study in Quebec need to receive a a Quebec Acceptance Certificate from the Quebec government. After that, they need to obtain a study permit from the federal government. Indians that wish to study in any province or territory outside of Quebec only need to submit a study permit application to the federal government.

The purpose of the study permit is to legally confirm you are allowed to study in Canada. Key documents to submit as part of your study permit application include your LOA, proof that you can support yourself financially in Canada, as well as a medical exam and police certificate.

Fast-track option for Indians: the Student Direct Stream

Fortunately, Indian students also have the option to fast-track their study permit application.

Under the Student Direct Stream, Canada aims to process the study permit applications of Indians within only 20 calendar days.

To be eligible for the SDS, Indians must meet additional criteria, such as, but not limited to:

  • Obtain a score of at least 6 in each skill of the IELTS Academic test (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
  • Obtain a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD from a participating financial institution that meets the criteria for the SDS
  • Prove that you have paid tuition fees for the first year of your studies in Canada

The SDS is an excellent option for Indians that want to begin their studies in Canada this fall.

Indians who obtain an LOA and then submit their completed study permit application in a timely fashion should be able to begin their Canadian studies in time for the fall 2020 semester.

Even if you are unable to arrive in Canada by this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, you can still begin your program online in India and remain eligible for the highly valuable post-graduation work permit. The PGWP, of course, can then help you become eligible for even more Canadian immigration programs.

There are over 200,000 Indians currently studying in Canada. You can join them in the coming months thanks to the welcoming policies Canada has in place for Indian students.

See if you are eligible to study in Canada in fall 2020

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

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