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International Students in Canada

By Loretta Pickett, Newfound Immigration Solutions

Did you know . . .

  • Canada hosted 494,525 international students in 2017.

  • Canada ranks as the world’s fourth most popular destination for international students.

  • Canada derives nearly $8 billion annually from international student expenditures, including tuition and living expenses. The presence of international students creates over 81,000 jobs.

  • Sixty-five percent of the students come from five counties: China (28%), India (25%), South Korea (5%), France (4%), and Vietnam (3%).

  • Eighty-four percent of international students are enrolled in educational institutions in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Statistics show that Newfoundland and Labrador had 4,610 study permit holders in 2017, and more than 4,520 (Q3 statistics) in 2018.

Why do international students choose to study in Canada? According to a survey completed by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), the top three reasons are:

  • the quality of the Canadian education system

  • Canada’s reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory country

  • the country’s reputation for being a safe place to live

Working off campus as an international student

An international student can work while studying if they hold a valid study permit that has the allowance to work condition printed on the document. The student must be enrolled full-time in a public post- secondary institution and requires a social insurance number. A full-time student is able to work up to 20 hours per week during regular school sessions. Full-time hours are allowed during scheduled breaks.

Working in Canada after graduation

Students who complete a post-secondary program of at least eight months in Canada may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit. These permits can be valid for upwards of three years. The duration of the work permit depends upon the length of the program completed. A post-graduation work permit is an open work permit that allows students to work anywhere in Canada, for any employer, in any field.

Why hire an international student?

Hiring an international student or graduate is not complicated and there is limited paperwork required of the employer. The international student or graduate must have a valid study permit and/or a post-graduation work permit. Employers should be aware of the benefits and potential that international students have to offer.

Hiring an international student or graduate can offer your organization many benefits:

  • diverse knowledge and skills that are typically not available in the local labour market

  • international experience with a global perspective

  • ability to communicate in multiple languages

  • ability to adapt to new environments and cultures

  • additional knowledge and skills that Canadian students and graduates may not have, due to the international education and work experience that international students often possess

  • global connections

  • help in expanding businesses and identifying new export opportunities

  • help filling job vacancies

  • meeting the demand for skilled workers that cannot be filled by Canadian graduates alone

International graduates’ pathway to permanent residence

Many Canadian federal and provincial economic immigration programs emphasize an applicant’s work experience in Canada. As graduates who have already entered the Canadian labour market, international students have proven that they are an asset to the country. The Canadian work experience they gain here is invaluable to graduates on a path to permanent residence.

Please contact Newfound Immigration Solutions at to further discuss the hiring of international students and graduates.


Loretta Pickett,

Loretta Pickett is a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and the creator of Newfound Immigration Solutions (NIS). NIS specializes in finding immigration solutions for individuals and businesses. We focus on helping individuals and families find their pathway to Canada. We also help employers bring much-needed skilled and specialized human resources to the country. Immigration processes can be complex and are ever changing. NIS provides reliable immigration guidance. We offer a wide range of immigration services in temporary residence, permanent residence, and citizenship.



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