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Most International Students Stay in the Province Where They Originally Got a Study Permit


02 December 2022


Recently, the Conference Board of Canada researched and found that most international students who receive a study permit in a certain province prefer to remain in that province for their next period of study or work. The Conference Board of Canada is a non-profit organisation that focuses on issues related to public policy.


According to research, most international students stay in the province where they originally obtained a study visa. Approximately 60% of the international students who studied in one of Canada's three territories or ten provinces remained there after their first study permit had expired. In Quebec, around 85% of international students remained in the province, the largest of all territories and provinces. Whereas Manitoba and Alberta also hold approximately 80% of international students.


Moreover, the five provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan) experienced a retention rate between 70% to 80%. The last two Canadian provinces (Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick) and the three Canadian territories kept between 60% and 70% of their international students after a year. Furthermore, the other 13 regions of Canada retained about 75% of international students for further education. 


The Conference Board of Canada also researched the job location of international students after 3 years of their first study permit expiration. The research shows that in nine provinces and territories of Canada, around 50% of international students are still employed in the same region where they stayed in their initial geographic area of education. Quebec and Alberta experienced the highest retention rates after three years as well.


To support and strengthen intra-territory/province retention, the Conference Board of Canada suggested aligning skill development with the needs of the local labour market in the post-secondary education system. The Conference Board of Canada also suggested a way to aid international students' intra-territory/province retention. They added that strong provincial funding for these institutions would further help them continue to provide high-quality education to students. Furthermore, they also stated that if the Canadian government offers a larger proportion of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) slots to international students and supports them in settlement services, it would attract them to remain in the provinces where they completed their education.


It will also be more convenient for the students to stay in the same provinces or territories since they’ll become familiar with the city in which they have completed their education and will be able to defend themselves from all the hustle they might face while moving to another province. 


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