Why Choosing Canada is still a good option.

Why Choosing Canada is still a good option.

There has been a lot of press in recent days about the recent announcement by Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the study permit reduction (35% for undergraduate degrees and college diplomas), some changes to the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility, and open work permit for spouses of students. Although the new changes will negatively impact some students and certainly most Canadian institutions, there is no cause to discard Canada as a study option.

First of all, if you are applying to high school or doing a master’s or Ph.D., you will not be affected at all. Nothing has changed here. In fact, there is a win for master’s students who will now qualify for a 3-year PGWP even though the length of study can be less than one year

My first reaction upon hearing the news was, “Oh No! This is not good!”.  Like most others in this industry, doom and gloom dominated my thoughts those first few days. What was I going to tell any prospective student? How would I, or could I, put a positive light on these changes? Feeling the need to deal with this, I sat down with my staff and started writing down any and everything that was positive about this announcement. No negative point could be brought up unless this point was followed by a positive, either as a direct consequence of the negative point or as a benefit to one stakeholder (i.e. student) to the detriment of another (i.e., agent) 

Here is what we came up with.  

Here are some reasons why you should still go study in Canada:

  • The benefits that Canada offered students before the announcement have not changed. You still get the same benefits as before when you come to study in Canada (Yeah…I hear you back there “…if you get in, you say” – see below)
  • With fewer students who chose to go study in Canada, this should free up some scarce IRCC manpower and speed up the visa application process (in theory, at least).
  • Fewer students mean less competition for scarce accommodation (which is said to be one of the main reasons for this announcement)
  • Less students means more chances of finding a job (clearly a winner here) or even a better job.
  • There will be fewer students competing for the same number of co-op jobs and other employment.
  • This announcement should ensure that there are no further incidents where colleges have had to revoke acceptance letters https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/international-students-ontario-northern-college-acceptance-letters-1.6931747
  • Institutions will feel compelled to up their game. Colleges or universities that were in it only for a quick return will likely be allocated a smaller percentage of the study permit allocations until such time as they start looking after students’ welfare better. I know that the jury will be out on this one for a while yet, but change will not happen unless there is a need, and believe me, these institutions need those international students. I suspect they will change.
  • You can expect more student housing to be built, if not by the university, then certainly by way of a public-private partnership.
  • Those agents who oversold the programs are usually the ones who are transactional in nature and only looking for a quick return. They only go after the sale and do not provide much after-sales service. They will be discouraged from representing Canada, thus saving students from signing up for something significantly less than what they bargained for or, worse, being scammed.
  • The increase in the minimum financial requirement of $20,635 plus tuition and travel expenses was not set up to punish students but rather to protect them. If this requirement is what prevents a student from coming to Canada, then so be it. I truly believe it is in the best interest of the student. Too many agents paint a rosy picture of life in Canada to entice students, but once in Canada, the reality of the cost of living can seriously put the student in an untenable situation. What was expected to be a great journey can suddenly be fraught with problems, anxiety, and stress. And this could have been avoided in the first place.

Other points to consider.

  • The general word out there is that Canada is no longer as open to students as before. This will discourage some students from applying. This will reduce the demand and increase your chance of getting accepted and getting a study permit. So don’t be discouraged. Apply. It only takes a bit of your time and costs very little. Try out our services.


The initial prognosis may seem dire, and it will hurt many Canadian institutions for the next couple of years, but remember that the Canadian Education industry is an important and valuable one.  There are many stakeholders with much to lose by maintaining the current course and much to gain by working together to fix the problems. If they can address the issues, the ban will be lifted. And like in many cases before, sometimes a shock initiates changes that hurt in the short or medium term but result in the industry returning stronger than before. I am confident that the Canadian education industry shall prevail and continue to deliver world-class products, services, and opportunities to international students. I believe it will be better because of it.

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Rene is a Canadian education consulting, student recruiter, and founder of New World Education Company (dba. GoStudyCanada) based out of Bangkok with over 20 years of experience in the S.E. Asian market. He can be reached at info@gostudycanada.net and followed at GoStudyCanada (FB & IG)