For Indian students, the American dream is becoming a Canadian one

posted on June 26, 2018

By Quartz |

With the US and the UK slowly shutting their doors, Canada has flung its open, and Indian students are rushing in.

In 2017, Indian students who secured Canadian visas increased by almost 60% from a year ago, according to official data. In all, Indian students received 83,410 of the 317,110 Canadian study permits granted during the year.

“Indians used to go to the US, taking hefty loans to pay expensive tuition fees, because they expected a ‘return-on-investment’ by getting a high-paid job upon graduation. Now, chances of that are low because of changing policies and employers’ reluctance to engage foreign workers in uncertain times,” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at immigration law firm LawQuest.

The US has traditionally been the favourite destination for Indian students, but the Donald Trump administration is gradually shutting foreign talent out of the country. Already, among students in US science and engineering degree courses at the graduate-school level, the share of Indians dipped 19% year-on-year in the fall of 2017, National Science Board data show.

“In the US, going on the student visa means you’re going as a non-immigrant…you’re starting off on the wrong foot already,” said Chothani. “Canadian colleges are relatively less expensive and Canada offers a more predictable path to citizenship.”

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