The Washington Post recently reported that 65 percent of Americans support a temporary halt to almost all immigration during the coronavirus outbreak, while only 34 percent oppose it. That poll came out when President Trump did a Presidential proclamation Suspended entry of most new immigrants outside the US for at least 60 days and placed a 30-day review to recommend new restrictions on temporary visa holders. Many of those who learned of the proclamation expected that it would likely be expanded.
Then, on April 27th, 2020, Radio interview with radio host Brian Kilmeade, incumbent Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, pointed out that the use of the optional internship by foreign students was an administrative problem. Stuart Anderson, a Forbes Senior Contributor, later quoted Wolf as saying, “Again, we will have a number of recommendations that we will make up for, and some of them might include students with what we call. . . OPT and CPT, optional hands-on training, and many of them are used by Chinese students who could potentially stay and work here. So, yes, it’s a concern that the department also emphasizes. “
On May 11, 2020, four influential U.S. Senators also called for a suspension of work permits for postgraduate OPT students in the U.S. United States. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., And three of his colleagues wrote to President Trump urging him to suspend the OPT program. “While the merits of such a program are debatable, there is certainly no reason to allow foreign students to stay three more years just to take jobs that would otherwise fall to unemployed Americans when our economy recovers,” they said.
For international students studying in the United States, what is written is clearly on the wall. President Trump’s America First policy has made it difficult for them, and the path from F-1 student visa to H1B visa worker to permanent residence is not an easy one. So if America closes the door to international students, what other options do they have?
Well Australia is number two on the demanded countries list. But think about it – Australia is the English speaking Argentina of the world – it’s just so far from everything else. Number three, however, is Canada’s international student program, which is pretty close and attractive.
Canada has the third largest international student population in the world, with over 642,000 such students. In fact, 15,015 American students were studying in Canada in 2019, making Americans the sixth largest foreign student population by country of citizenship.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), studying in Canada offers important benefits to international students, including:
1. The quality of the Canadian education system,
2. Canada’s reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society
3. Canada’s reputation as a safe country.
In addition, there are other considerations such as:
- Affordability – especially for Americans as the Canadian dollar is much lower.
- English at most Canadian universities
- Access to a robust job market that requires young talent
- Possibility to apply for study and work permits at the port of entry
- Path to Canadian permanent residence through post graduate work permit.
Of these benefits, for most international students, post graduate work permits are a crucial feature of studying in Canada. Many of them in Canada will soon be applying for post graduate work permits when the final year of school in Canadian universities ends.
I spoke to Parveen Sehra, a Canadian immigration attorney who works in the student visa field, about the Canadian program. She said, “The post graduate work permit has two main advantages. First, this is a permanent work permit – meaning students can stay in Canada with no job offer after graduation while they look for work opportunities. Second, students can use their professional experience to add points to the permanent resident system in the Express Entry – Canadian Experience Class. Most international students are competitive candidates for permanent residence once they have work experience and a Canadian degree. In addition, US students who have a good command of English and fall into the 20-29 age group will receive the maximum number of points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) of Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada. “
Students are only eligible for one postgraduate work permit in their lifetime, but the work permit can be used anywhere in Canada. They are not limited to the province in which they completed their program. Unlike most other foreigners, US citizenship students can apply for postgraduate work permits at the border. This significantly shortens the waiting time for obtaining a work permit, which for other students can take four to five months.
Eligibility and length of stay
The postgraduate work permit enables Canada to attract and retain young talent – this is vital to the economy given Canada’s aging population. Regarding the eligible applicants, Serha explains: “The students must have completed full-time studies, with the exception of the last semester in which they can study part-time. The definition of full-time is defined by each Designated Learning Institute (DLI) and is usually based on the number of hours of classes per week.
A postgraduate work permit can last at least eight months and a maximum of three years, depending on the duration of the study. For example, a four-year undergraduate student may be eligible for a three-year postgraduate work permit. The cost of a postgraduate work permit is $ 255-155 for the work permit fee and $ 100 for the open work permit holder fee.
Regarding Americans, Serha noted, “US students consistently excel in the Canadian job market. Canada’s current immigration policy offers US students significant benefits that they should consider when choosing their post-secondary study location. “
However, it should be noted that Canada has also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and this has also been shown in the economic arena. Undoubtedly, Canada’s appetite for immigration has also been dampened by job losses and Canadians’ economic hardship encountered. What is even more worrying is the recent shrinking of jobs for students graduation. There is no doubt that Canada will be hit hard by a drop in enrollments next year, and that in turn will be a large part of the $ 22 billion in revenue the country generates each year from international students studying there. Nevertheless, the attitude towards international students in Canada is more favorable than in the USA. In addition, as in the US, college education in Canada is increasingly being conducted online. For these reasons, Canada’s policy in international student recruitment is expected to improve compared to the United States as things normalize about the pandemic.
This is all the more true when Canada announced on May 14, 2020 that online courses do not normally count towards the study requirement for a post graduate work permit application, but are now allowed in light of coronavirus-related travel disruptions around the world now international students too learn online abroad and still be entitles to apply for a work permit according to permit Graduation.
New international students can begin their programs online at a Canadian college in Fall 2020 and complete up to 50 percent of the course abroad, and can still get post graduate work permits after graduation to work in Canada.