The number of international students in Canada doubled between 2000–01 and 2009–10. The pace of growth has accelerated further since 2010.
But Canada lacks a strategy to coordinate between granting study permits and selecting international students for immigration.
Study alone is rarely enough to make international students eligible for permanent residence. Of international students who gained permanent residence, 88 per cent had multiple temporary visas before transitioning to permanent residence.
Multi-permit immigration pathways mean international students spend long periods in Canada without permanent residence, which can increase their vulnerability to exploitation by employers or losing their immigration status.
International student enrolment in college/certificate programs is growing quickly, but students at this level of study have few purpose-built immigration opportunities.