Studying in an international country is definitely one of the potential ways to immigrate. It is however also a very expensive route and hence not supported by ISA as a matter of principle.
Study abroad requires a family to take a loan in most cases and puts a huge financial strain on the candidate and the extended family. Why undertake an expensive route when a cheaper, faster and direct route is possible?
To all those evaluating the student visa consider the fact that a candidate requires only one year work experience to be eligible for a permanent residence visa. It would take a candidate far longer to complete their education and would cost upwards of Rs 30 lacs. Also imagine the pressure a candidate would have when sitting for campus placements in an international country. What if the candidate is not able to secure a job? The candidate would need to return back with the student loan still hanging like a sword. It could take candidates a decade or more to repay the loan.
Many candidates considering student visas are not even aware of a cheaper and more direct route offered by permanent residency. In fact when candidates dive deeper and understand the cost differences many move away from the student visa. Also remember that a candidate can always secure a permanent residency visa, land into a foreign country and straight enroll themselves in a college for an education. The only difference would be that the candidate would be on a PR visa and not a student visa. That’s not all - an Indian on a student visa would pay two or three times more for higher education than an Indian on a PR visa. This is because securing a PR visa means that the candidate is considered a domestic student and not an international student and the fee is accordingly much lower. A PR visa indicates that a candidate has an intention of long term stay in the country. As a result the country is able to invest on the candidate seeing a long term horizon. A candidate on a student visa is on a short term (1-2 year) visa and hence does not get the same treatment.
ISA has often considered the option of entering the international student market but has stayed away on grounds that it is expensive for the candidate and hence should be taken as a last resort option.