Rise In Student Applications For Australian And New Zealand Study Permits

Immigration agents in India expressed growing anxiety following the Canadian government's decision to double the Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) requirement for international students effective January 1, 2024.

The agents' concerns arise from the potential decrease in student visa applications due to the increased financial burden imposed by the higher GIC requirement. This could significantly impact their income and lead to job losses within the industry.

Furthermore, a shift in student preferences towards alternative destinations like Australia and New Zealand, which offer comparatively lower costs and faster visa processing times, could further exacerbate the industry's sufferings.

Australia and New Zealand have emerged as attractive options due to their:
Relatively lower cost of living compared to Canada.
Strong educational systems with internationally recognized universities.
Simplified visa application processes and faster processing times.
Government initiatives and scholarships are specifically targeted towards international students.
Educational consultants and agencies specializing in study abroad programs have also witnessed a surge in inquiries from students interested in Australia and New Zealand.
One such agency, Global Education Connect, reports a 60% increase in inquiries for Australian and New Zealand study programs since the announcement of the GIC requirement increase in Canada.

"We are seeing a significant shift in interest towards Australia and New Zealand, especially from students who were previously considering Canada," said Mr. Shah, Director of Global Education Connect. "The affordability factor and streamlined visa processes are major drivers behind this shift."
Soaring GIC Costs Push Indian Students Down Under Australia and New Zealand See Increased Interest from Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib Aspirants
Sanam Singh, a resident of Sanaur, said he had cancelled the plan to study in Canada and would now enrol for a programme in New Zealand. “I have some relatives in New Zealand. Even the weather in this country is favourable for work,” said Sanam.

Palak from Patiala also shared similar views and said she would now opt for Australia. She said, “The GIC has been hiked from 10,000 Canadian dollars (Rs 6.14 lakh) to $20,635 (Rs 12.67 lakh) per applicant. If we include fees, the financial requirement has surged from Rs 16 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. In Australia, students don’t require the GIC.”

Avnish Jain, a Ludhiana-based consultant, said the hike in the GIC amount would impact the immigration industry. “This decision may lead to a fall in number of students heading to Canada,” he said.

Amarjit Bhullar, economist and former professor at, the University of Northern British Columbia, said, “Believing that the stern action has been taken due to the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada or involvement of a few Punjabi youngsters in illegal activities will be a great misconception.”

Bhullar said, “Punjabi students spend around Rs 68,000 crore on education each year alone. Last year, 1.36 lakh students migrated to Canada from Punjab. Now, only skilled professionals with considerable income would opt for Canada.”

Bhullar: "Leaky Bucket" Trend Shows Rising Onward Migration from Canada, Likely Worsened by Pandemic
Economist and former professor Amarjit Bhullar cites a critical study by the Conference Board of Canada, "The Leaky Bucket: A Study of Immigrant Retention Trends in Canada," to highlight the growing trend of onward migration. This study reveals a steady increase in onward migration since the 1980s, with significant spikes in 2017 and 2019. The average onward migration rate during these years was 31% higher than the historical average.