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WES Weekly Roundup July 3, 2024

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World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.

Using Twitter to investigate discourse on immigration (Frontiers in Social Psychology)

This research piece explores how personal values influence public discourse on immigration, via Twitter, focusing on the closure of Roxham Road, a key border crossing between the US and Canada used by asylum seekers. Analyzing 33,459 tweets, the findings show that tweets expressing conservation values (values of security and preservation for tradition; resistance to change) had a negative tone, while those expressing self-transcendence (concern for others) had a positive tone. Both values spiked in expression immediately after the closure, with conservation-related tweets becoming less negative and self-transcendence-related tweets becoming more positive over time. The impact of policy changes on public sentiment is evident, with shifts occurring immediately after the closure announcement. Additionally, personal values were more prevalent in tweets than moral foundations, offering a broader perspective on guiding principles behind immigration discourse. The research highlights the significant role of personal values in shaping public attitudes and behaviors, suggesting the need for further analysis of value expressions in social media to better understand public opinion and social cohesion.

With dipping study permit approval rates for international students, Canada may not meet its reduced target (Toronto Star)

Study permit processing has fallen by half since IRCC announced reforms to international student admittances. Data suggests that if current trends continue, Canada is set to miss its 2024 target of issuing 291,914 visas to prospective students from abroad. In response to the explosive growth of international student intake, Canada has introduced measures to reduce admittances by 31 percent – from the 404,668 issued in 2023. Immigration officials will need to process 552,095 applications, yielding a projected 40 percent refusal rate. Between January and April of this year, IRCC processed more than 152,000 study permits, with 76,000 being approved. Canada has also doubled the proof of funds requirement to $20,000 CAD – the amount an applicant must demonstrate in order to afford living expenses. Student demand from 12 of the 17 top African source countries also rose – while nearly two-thirds of all international student source countries saw lower approval rates in 2024 when compared to 2023.

Foreign workers in Canada: Differences in the transition to permanent residency across work permit programs (StatsCan)

The transition rates of foreign workers from temporary work permits to permanent residency (PR) in Canada show an overall increase across successive cohorts of work permit holders. 34 percent of the 2011-2015 cohort transitioned to PR five years after obtaining their first work permit, up from 27 percent of the 2006-2010 cohort. Transition rates vary by program, with the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program and live-in caregiver programs having higher rates, while agriculture programs have lower rates. The share of PGWP holders rose from 8 percent in the 2006-2010 cohort to 36 percent in the 2016-2020 cohort, significantly impacting overall transition rates. Disparities between programs have widened, with the PGWP Program outperforming agriculture programs. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) have become the main pathways to PR, particularly for PGWP holders and spouses or common-law partners of skilled workers and students. The majority of work permit holders transition through the economic class, a trend that has grown more pronounced over time. In summary, transition rates to PR have generally increased, with significant variations between programs, leading to greater disparity. The PNP and CEC have emerged as key pathways, driven by the growth of the PGWP Program.

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