Over 800,000 international students in Canada in 2022
Canada hosted over 800,000 international students in 2022 – an increase of almost a third in one year, according to new government data.
There were a total of 807,750 study permit holders in Canada in December, over 190,000 more than in 2021. The new figures surpass by some way Canada’s target figure of 450,000 foreign students by 2022 set out in the country’s 2014 international education strategy.
IRCC released data showing it issued 551,405 new study permits in 2022, an increase of 24% on 2021, in what Canadian immigration described as a “record-breaking year” for immigration applications.
Canada struggled to cope with an influx of visa applications, despite commitments from the government to tackle ongoing backlogs. After months of delays, in November IRCC said study permits were mostly back to the normal 60-day processing times.
Some 41% (226,450) of these went to Indian students as growth from the country continued to accelerate. The number of Indians has almost quadrupled since 2019 when 58,435 study permits were issued to this cohort.
China was the second leading source country for international students, with 52,165 permits issued in 2022, compared to 55,900 the previous year. This marks a continued decline from pre-pandemic levels, with 84,155 permits issued in 2019.
In total, there were 319,130 Indian study permit holders in Canada, followed by 100,075 from China. Other leading source countries included the Philippines (32,455), France (27,135), Nigeria (21,660), and Korea (16,505).
The most popular study destination was Ontario, with 52% (289,835) of all new permits issued to this region, followed by British Columbia, which accounted for 19% of total 2022 permits. Over half (411,985) of all international students in Canada held permits linked to Ontario institutions.
Other regions have attempted to lure foreign students away from Canada’s most populous province with new investments, including New Brunswick, Alberta and Nova Scotia.
The majority of permits were issued at higher education level, but the k-12 sector also saw growth, with 82,000 study permits issued for secondary level or below, compared to 63,745 in 2021.
But the influx of international students has set off alarm bells across some parts of the international education sector, with critics warning that the country may not be able to accommodate the number of permanent residency applications that will likely enter the pipeline from international students in the coming years.
Similarly, affordable housing is in short supply in parts of Canada, with some students falling victim to scams.
To find out about the courses we have on offer: Click Here
Join the Course: Click Here