New Brunswick has launched a new program to retain international students after their graduation. The three-year Study and Succeed in New Brunswick program gives the international graduates a chance to access resources, support, and connections for finding a job in the province, which will, in turn, boost the availability of skilled labour in the province as well.New Brunswick’s Immigration Minister Arlene Dunn said about the program, “Growing our population base is essential to addressing the workforce needs of the future, and access to skilled talent is crucial for New Brunswick companies of every size. Not only are international students a critical component of our talent pipeline, they also contribute immensely to making our province more diverse and inclusive.”
An amount of $1 million is being spent on the program, which is funded by Opportunities NB and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) through its Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. Each agency is contributing around $500,000.
The Conference Board of Canada, in their report released last year, had urged Canada to increase the number of international students the provinces could nominate through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The report noted that the PNP was the most common way for international graduates to become permanent residents in Canada. It further pointed out that increasing PNP slots would make it easier for them to stay in Canada, which will facilitate their retention in the provinces of study. The report had also highlighted the need for improved settlement services to help international students obtain Canada PR visa.
Opportunities for international students in Canada
Canada is one of the most popular international study destinations in the world. It has some of the best universities in the world and affordable fees compared to other major destinations. In 2022, Canada issued a record number of study permits and in the first nine months of the year itself, 418,260 international students received study permits.
Another major factor that attracts more international students to Canada is the opportunity to work while studying. The spouses and common partners of students can also apply for a study permit and work in Canada for the duration of the studies. Upon graduation, the students can also earn Canada work experience with a Post-graduation Work Permit.
Major Canada immigration pathways give weightage to candidates who have studied in Canada, which increases their chances of obtaining Canada PR.