Recent changes to Canadian study visa rules, including a doubled Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) limit and potential caps on international students, are causing concerns, particularly for Indian students. Explore the implications of these alterations on the aspirations of students from Punjab and beyond.
Increased GIC Limit and what it entails?
The Canadian government’s decision to raise the GIC limit from 10,000 to 20,635 Canadian dollars is set to significantly impact Indian students. This change, effective from January 1, 2024, means a substantial increase in the cost of living financial requirement for study permit applicants.
Indian Student Perspective
For Indian students, especially those from Punjab who favor Canada for their education, this GIC hike translates to a substantial financial burden. Previously depositing Rs 6 lakh, students are now required to contribute around Rs 13 lakh.
Rationale Behind GIC Hike
The decision to increase the GIC limit is attributed to rising living costs in Canada. Factors such as an annual inflation rate increase and a 5.8% unemployment rate are cited as reasons for this adjustment.
Impact on Employment Opportunities
Concerns are raised about the potential hindrance to diploma students pursuing one-year courses, affecting their ability to secure full-time employment. Approximately 70% of Canadian student visa applications are for diploma courses, according to immigration agents.
Possible Cap on International Students
Speculation surrounds the Canadian government’s intention to cap the number of international students in 2024. This prospective limitation may pose additional challenges for Indian students seeking educational opportunities in Canada.
Housing Crisis and Population Density
A potential cap is seen as a response to the housing crisis and population density in certain areas popular among Indian students. Greater Toronto, Vancouver, Brampton, and Surrey are mentioned as locations the government aims to decongest.
Diplomatic Tensions and Declining Applications
Diplomatic tensions between India and Canada are acknowledged as a contributing factor to a decline in the number of Indian student applications. Data reveals a 40% decrease in student applications from India between July and October.
Seeking Alternative Destinations
In response to these challenges, students are exploring alternative study destinations, including the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. However, tightening visa rules and increased fees in these countries present additional hurdles.
Outlook and Expert Opinions
Impact on Immigration
Experts believe that while these measures may redirect students to alternative destinations, they may not significantly impact immigration from India, especially Punjab. Calls for capacity building to ensure Indians abroad secure higher-paying jobs are emphasized.
Consideration for Future Policies
As students face these changes, there is a call for governments to consider policies that align with the aspirations and mobility of students, fostering positive outcomes for both the students and the host countries.
Winding it up
The adjustments to Canadian study visa rules create challenges for Indian students, particularly in terms of increased financial requirements and potential caps on international students. Navigating these changes requires a careful consideration of the evolving dynamics between students, host countries, and diplomatic relations.