Mumbai: The route to Canadian citizenship will be easiest with the help of a degree from a Quebec institute. Foreign students will now automatically get certification of selection to become a Canadian citizen after graduating from any college or university in Quebec, a province in Canada. The announcement was made by Quebec premier Jean Charest, who was visiting Mumbai University o explore possible collaborations and exchanges.
“Effective from February 14, any student who obtains a bachelor, masters or PhD degree from a Quebec institute will automatically receive a certification of selection to become a citizen of Canada. This is the first time that such a step is being taken, and the idea is to recognise the efforts and skills of those who come to study with us. We have a shortage of skilled labourers, and we need to address that,” said Charest.
The graduation certificate will be the first step in being chosen for Canadian citizenship, and will be followed by security and health-related checks by the federal government. The move will fast-track the process.
Experts say that considering the fact that Indian students have difficulties in getting even an internship, leave alone a job, in the US or Europe, such a decision will be a big boost, and will assist professional mobility. “India is multi-lingual and multi-cultural, and so is Quebec. It’s one of the first places in the world to provide both educational and professional opportunities to Indian students. Hence, our students must start looking at Quebec as a destination where the society encourages and respects differences,” said Dr Vidya Vencatesan, reader and head of the French department in Mumbai University. The French department had organised the interaction between the Quebec delegation and the faculty and students of the university.
“We’ve embarked on a policy of openness and want to attract more men and women globally to build a knowledge-based economy. We want to step up our relationship with India in the area of education.
We want to host more Indian students,” said Charest. Quebec is chosen by around 25,000 foreign students every year, of which 400 are of Indian origin.