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Big jump in South Africans looking to emigrate

Emigration specialists have reported seeing a surge in emigration inquiries from South Africa as anxiety builds among families and parents.

According to Canadian immigration firm, Beaver Immigration, there has been a notable increase in queries among South African parents looking for better education opportunities.

“As the state of tertiary education in South Africa remains clouded, South African parents are looking to send their children to university in Canada,” the group said.

“The issues surrounding varsities’ ability to accommodate the placement of students in the Eastern Cape has spooked parents across the country,” said Nicholas Avramis, Managing Director of Beaver Immigration.

While thousands of South African students travel abroad for their tertiary education each year, Canadian universities are proving particularly popular, with a 31% increase in Canadian study visa applications from South Africa since 2021.

“While youth unemployment in South Africa continues to push South African students to study abroad, there is a pull factor that also attracts foreign students to choose Canada as a new home,” Avramis said.

This follows a trend of an increasing number of South Africans looking to move to the North American country – while at the same time, it is making room to accept more migrants.

Canadian immigration experts said that the country welcomes high levels of immigration to keep its economy strong.

Skilled South Africans have historically scored highly in the point rankings to gain entry to Canada thanks to strong language skills, the probability of having obtained professional work experience, and the higher education that they may have completed earlier in life.

According to Avramis, Canada is also trying to sweeten the prospects for students studying there.

The government of Canada recently announced that foreign students in Canada who are on a valid study visa are now allowed to work an unlimited number of hours alongside their studies.

“This is a departure from the hard cap of 20 hours per week afforded to international students in other countries,” he said. The government implemented this policy change to help address Canada’s chronic national labour shortages. The government hopes foreign students can fill the gaps in the Canadian labour market.

According to Avramis, the accelerating number of South African students applying to Canadian colleges and universities is catching up to international trends.

“In 2022, the government processed 671,088 study visa applications, and it is expected that in a few years, Canada will receive well over 1 million applications per year.”

The consultant explained that retaining international students after their graduation is a critical factor in Canada’s target of admitting 1.5 million new permanent residents by the end of 2025,

After finishing school, international students can apply for an open work permit for up to three years.

After working in Canada for one year, foreign graduates can apply for permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship.

“A large part of Canada’s population growth strategy is to retain international students and their families,” Avramis said.

Source : Business Tech