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'Work permit to foreign students'

Foreign students going to Canada will now obtain an open work permit with no requirement of a job offer, reports Amit Baruah.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2008 00:42 IST
Amit Baruah

Foreign students going to Canada will now be able to obtain an open work permit under a post-graduate programme, with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement of a job offer.

Also, the duration of the work permit has been increased to three years, a Canadian High Commission release said on Thursday. “The Government of Canada wants more foreign students to choose Canada,” Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley stated. <b1>

Given the problems that Indians face in getting jobs after higher education in many countries, the new facility will obviously be welcome. The H1-B visa in the United States, for instance, imposes quotas, making it tough for skilled Indians to find jobs.

A total of 5,700 Indian students were studying in Canada in 2007 while 2,531 study permits were issued to Indians in the same year. This is a big increase over previous years – in 1997 just 339 Indian students went to Canada while the figure stood at 746 in the year 2000.

Though the number of Indian students going to Canada is small compared to United States, Britain and Australia, easy employment opportunities may just help Canada in its efforts to attract foreign students. “Open and longer work permits provide international students with more opportunities for Canadian work experience…this will help make Canada a destination of choice, and help us keep international students already studying in Canada,” the Minister added.