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Canada Sets an All-Time High Record by Welcoming 450,000 International Students in 2021

Jun 08, 2022

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Canada has set an all-time high record with the number of international students it welcomed in the country with the study permit program in 2021. The most benefited country from this program was India as Canada issued 217,410 permits for Indian students. China followed with 105,265 study permits. 

In 2020 due to the pandemic Canada could only issue over 255,000 study permits. But, as of December 2021 they had nearly 622,000 international students.

In this article we will be telling you everything you need to know regarding the rise in number of international students who went to pursue education in Canada in 2021 and why this number increased so high. 


How are these Numbers Calculated?

Every month Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) releases data of the new study permits that come into force. This data consists of all the international students who reach in Canada as well as those who are already living there. IRCC also posts data at the end of first quarter of each calendar year.

Predictably, the most study permits took effect in the period between July and August which was over 200,000 in total, right before the start of the 2021 pandemic. 

The data provided by IRCC is a snapshot of the students with a valid study permit on December 31st, 2019, during which Canada hosted nearly 622,000 international students. However, due to the pandemic the number fell to 530,000 students in 2020. By March 2020, Canada announced travel restrictions due to the rise in covid. These restrictions were lifted in October 2020 allowing the foreign student numbers in the country to recover. This has allowed the international students to study in Canada safely which explains the high rise in the number of international students arriving in the country since then. 


Reasons for the Rise of these Numbers

Last year’s high number of study permits can be mostly attributable to a double cohort of students’ arrivals: 

  • Those who wanted to reach Canada in 2020 but couldn’t because of the pandemic, and 
  • Those who planned to start their studies in Canada in 2021.

Other factor that improved the recovery was the easing of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) rules by Canada. The Canadian government did not allow PGWP to the students pursuing distance learning. This rule however has been relaxed till August 31,2022 due to the pandemic.


Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

A PGWP may be available to international students who complete their studies at an appropriate Canadian Designated Learning Institute (DLI). The PGWP is highly sought after because it allows international graduates to earn the Canadian work experience that they generally require in order to be eligible to seek for permanent residency. The institutions that have been approved by the government to accept international students are known as DLIs.


Why International Students Prefer to Study in Canada?

Many foreign students prefer to study in Canada as they are drawn towards the high-quality education, safety, affordability in comparison to other big countries, and many other factors. One of the major benefits of studying in Canada which all students seek is that they are allowed to work during their studies which helps them in supporting themselves financially as well as gaining work experience.


Top Permit Holders

As per December 31, 2021, these are the countries which have maximum number of studies permits sourced to international students:

  1. India (217,410)
  2. China (105,265)
  3. France (26,630)
  4. Iran (16,900)
  5. Vietnam (16,285)
  6. South Korea (15,805)
  7. The Philippines (15,545)
  8. The United States (14,325)
  9. Nigeria (13,745)
  10. Mexico (11,550)


Steps to Study in Canada

  • You should conduct research on educational programs and Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) so you can decide which institute and course you want to attend.
  • The next step is to submit your applications to those institutes and if they select you, they will send you an acceptance letter.
  • Once you get the Letter of Acceptance from a university, you can get a study permit application to the IRCC. Before approving the study permit, IRCC will require evidence that you have genuine interest in studying in Canada and means to support your higher education abroad and living expenses. Once they have verified this information, they offer the student direct stream which is an expedited study permit pathway to residents of 14 countries. 

There are many immigration programs in Canada that reward the candidates who have studied there. The Canadian government believes that international students have strong labour market options once they get permanent residence. Therefore, they provide a Canadian study experience where you can either obtain extra points with express entry or host of other streams operated by IRCC.

These above specified statistics and the efforts which the Canadian government is putting in towards making higher education in Canada accessible to international students shows why it is one of the best countries to study abroad.

So, if you too are willing to pursue higher education in abroad with such great benefits then choose to study in Canada. Also, to receive assistance for selecting a university and getting an admission in Canada, contact KC’s Canada experts.

Need guidance? Let us help you.

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