The opening of these new centres brings the number of Canada’s VACs to 137, spread across 95 countries. China is Canada’s third-largest overseas source market for tourists, with Chinese visitors contribute more than $1 billion annually to Canada’s economy.
The IRCC also reports there were 414,285 international students with a valid visa permit as of December 2016. Of this number, approximately 32% came from China, marking an increase of 12% on 2015 figures.
Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship Ahmed Hussen attended the opening ceremony of a VAC in Nanjing to mark the opening of the centres located in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Shenyang and Wuhan.
They join the existing network of VACs in Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, which currently offer support to applicants before, during and after their temporary resident visa application is assessed by an IRCC officer.
“Canada has a long and proud history with China,” said Hussen.
“These improvements will better serve Chinese applicants as we continue to create stronger business and personal ties between our two countries and welcome new immigrants to the Canadian family.”
The IRCC top 20 sending markets for Canadian education. Source: IRCC
The number of Canadian study visa holders from China has continued to grow year-on-year, with the combined total of China and India accounting for just over half of all international students in Canada in 2016.
Meanwhile, the latest survey from Universities Canada has revealed that international student enrolment at Canadian universities has risen by 11% in the last year.
This brings the total number of full and part-time international students at Canada’s universities to 192,000, hailing from more than 200 countries.
Most provinces across the country reported a rise in international student enrolment, with British Columbia leading the way with a 15.6% increase.
In October, Canada came out on top of an IDP research paper on global study destinations, due to its safe environment and policies which are seen as warm and welcoming.
Universities Canada president Paul Davidson said Canada is known worldwide as a nation that values diversity and inclusion, and its universities are a big part of that.
International student enrolment at Canadian universities has risen by 11% in the last year
“Students around the globe are increasingly choosing the internationally recognized quality of a Canadian university education, and the benefits for Canada are tremendous.
“These students bring diverse global perspectives and experiences to share with their fellow students, help build and strengthen Canada’s international connections, and contribute economically to their host communities.”
Last week a new report Global Education for Canadians called for measures to be put in place to increase the number of Canadian postsecondary students going abroad from 11% to 25% within the next decade.