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International Students as Permanent Residents

Canada Welcomes Over 355,000 International Students as Permanent Residents in Three Years

In a noteworthy development, more than 355,000 international students who pursued their education in Canada have obtained permanent resident status from 2021 to 2023, as revealed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This is part of a broader trend where over the past three years, a total of 627,000 former temporary residents successfully transitioned to permanent residency in Canada.

Enhanced Processing Amid Pandemic Challenges

Recognizing the challenges posed by the pandemic, IRCC has intensified its efforts to process permanent residency claims for individuals residing in Canada. The disruptions caused by lockdowns and travel restrictions prompted a dip in immigration numbers during 2020, with only 184,370 individuals being granted entry into Canada.

Ambitious Immigration Levels Plan

Despite the pandemic-related setbacks, Canada remains committed to an ambitious Immigration Levels Plan. Last year, the country set immigration quotas at 485,000 for 2024 and 500,000 for 2025. However, these targets have sparked concerns among Canadians, particularly in the context of the ongoing housing crisis.

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Public Concerns and Housing Crisis

The feasibility of accommodating half a million immigrants annually amidst a housing crisis has become a focal point of public discussion. Many respondents in nationwide focus groups expressed concerns about the housing shortage, with individuals reportedly living on the streets due to the lack of housing. Some respondents emphasized the need to address internal housing challenges before expanding immigration.

Public Sentiment and Consultation

The insights into public sentiment were derived from comprehensive research conducted by Quorus Consulting Group through 18 nationwide focus groups. The Department invested $119,723 in this research initiative, reflecting a commitment to understanding and addressing the concerns of the Canadian public.

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Canada Permanent Resident Status: An Overview

Individuals granted permanent resident (PR) status in Canada are not Canadian citizens but have acquired the right to reside in the country permanently. This group comprises citizens of other countries, and in certain cases, stateless individuals. Notably, refugees resettling in Canada through programs like the Government-Assisted Refugee Program or the Private Sponsorship of the Refugee Program attain PR status after IRCC approves their refugee claims.

Importance of the Permanent Resident (PR) Card

The Permanent Resident (PR) card serves as a crucial document confirming an individual’s PR status in Canada. It is essential for those traveling outside Canada and returning via commercial vehicles. Travelers must present both their PR card and a valid passport or refugee travel document. In cases where individuals don’t have a valid PR card during travel, they need to apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) before returning to Canada via commercial vehicles.

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Addressing Lost or Damaged PR Cards

For individuals facing issues with lost, stolen, or damaged PR cards, applying for a replacement PR card becomes necessary. This ensures a smooth continuation of their PR status in Canada.

Balancing Immigration Goals and Local Concerns

The surge in international students transitioning to permanent residency highlights Canada’s appeal as an educational destination. However, the juxtaposition of ambitious immigration targets with the pressing housing crisis underscores the need for a delicate balance between immigration goals and addressing local concerns.

As Canada navigates these challenges, the insights from public consultations become instrumental in shaping policies that align with the welfare of both newcomers and existing residents.

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