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Home Immigration Opting for the international student visa route for Canada? Follow Jodi McDonald’s advice

Opting for the international student visa route for Canada? Follow Jodi McDonald’s advice

There’s an increase in the number of young and skilled professionals applying for an international student visa for Canada. Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Jodi McDonald, who spoke with New Canadians reporter Shruti Dargan, explains what she thinks is fuelling this latest trend in Canadian immigration.

“It’s the next best option” for those who aren’t able to enter Canada through the Express Entry pool, says Jodi a.k.a Miss Savannah – the owner of Savannah Canadian Immigration. In the interview, she highlights what you should know before you apply to be an international student here and how to ensure the maximum return on your investment. Take a look.

Also watch: Immigration appeal: Learn about the eligibility and process

Video transcript:

Shruti Dargan:
On New Canadians Today we are joined by immigration consultant Jodi McDonald, also known as Miss Savannah, and she’s the owner of Savannah Canadian Immigration. We’ll be talking about one of the recent trends in Canadian immigration. Welcome, Jodi.

Jodi McDonald:
Thank you, Shruti, for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Shruti Dargan:
There seems to be an increase in the number of young and skilled professionals who are choosing to move to Canada as international students. What would you wanna say about, you know, this recent trend and the reason behind it?

Jodi McDonald:
I believe the reason for that is possibly due to what is happening with the Express Entry pool. Now, as of February 1st, there are over 64,000 persons, I believe, that are sitting in the pool that are ranked with CRS scores between 451 to 500, which means that persons who prior to Covid were ranked you know, within that 451 to maybe 440s who would’ve been hopeful of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency. That hope is slowly diminishing. And so these persons are now trying to find alternative routes, which the next best option is to try to enter Canada temporarily as an international student and slowly navigate their way toward permanent residency.

Shruti Dargan:
The pandemic has surely changed the patterns in Canadian immigration. Could you please compare, you know, the international student route with the federal skilled worker option that attracted many earlier,

Jodi McDonald:
The federal skilled worker means… It speaks for itself, right? You hit the ground running, being able to enter the labour market. You enter Canada as a landed immigrant or permanent resident. You’re not depending on a company to sponsor you as some persons would put it. If it is that you want a continual education, you’re able to do so at one-third the cost that you would pay as an international student. So of course, that is more times than not the more popular option. It’s the option that most persons would want to explore. For the international student route, you enter Canada as a temporary resident, which means that you’re paying tuition, which is three times what a Canadian citizen or permanent resident would pay you’re restricted in terms of the number of hours that you’re allowed to work, which is 20 hours per week while school is in session, and a full-time when school is on holiday. And then you have to get from there your post-grad work permit. And of course, if all goes well, then you can pursue your permanent residency application.

Shruti Dargan:
It’s expensive to be an international student in Canada. What’s the return on investment like for someone who is looking for employment later or, you know, applying for a PR status?

Jodi McDonald:
So a good place to start in terms of return on investment is the government of Canada’s Job Bank website. Here you’ll find important information that you can use to do your career planning. If you’re hoping to enter Canada there is wage analysis. There are, you can actually use that information to identify what are the low wages according to the profession that you’re hoping to explore, the median wage and even the high wage. So that will allow you to make an informed decision as to what you’re looking at in terms of return on investment. You already know how much you’re gonna pay for tuition. The government estimates that it will take 10 to 12,000 in terms of settlement funds. This may vary of course, depending on where in Canada you are. So you are able to use now the Job Bank information to do that analysis to see how long it’s gonna take for you to break even on the money that you would’ve invested, both in terms of tuition and living expenses before you can start seeing now a return and actual return on the investment that you would’ve made.

Shruti Dargan:
And lastly, is there a piece of advice or a word of caution that you would like to remind our viewers of?

Jodi McDonald:
Whether you’re hoping to come as a federal skilled worker, whether you’re hoping to come as an international student, you want to look at what is it that you’re planning to do. What profession are you planning to enter? If you already have years of experience under your belt, what is it likely that I would be able to fetch for a salary given my years of experience? Or if it is that I’m planning to add education or studies in Canada to that, what is that likely combination going to look like for me at the end of the day in terms of salary? And then you go a step further. What else does Canada have to offer to me or my family in terms of health care, in terms of just overall standard of living? And if it is, when you have done that research, you can see where yes, Canada is offering you more than what you are accustomed to in your home country. Reach out to an immigration professional and get started on your Canadian immigration journey.

Shruti Dargan:
Well thanks, Jodi for your time today. Thank you for sharing this information.

Jodi McDonald:
You’re most welcome, Shruti. And thank you so much for having me.

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