Canada has set yet another record, this time for the number of overseas students admitted through the Study Permit program in 2021.
Last year, approximately 450,000 new study permits were issued in Canada, a startling amount that has nearly doubled since 2015 and comfortably surpassed the previous all-time high established in 2019. India reaped the most benefits, with 217,410 visas awarded to Indian students. China came in second, with approximately 105,265 study permits.
Owing to the pandemic, Canada approved slightly more than 255,000 study permits in 2020. Canada had almost 622,000 international students as of December 31st. It had around 640,000 international students in 2019 before the pandemic reduced it to around 530,000 foreign students in 2020.
The removal of coronavirus restraints was a major contributor to the resurgence. Another factor was most likely Canada’s relaxation of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) requirements.
When the pandemic began in March 2020, Canada imposed travel restrictions on many potential students who had yet to reach the country. Canada relaxed these restrictions in October 2020, allowing the country’s international student population to rebound and explaining why Canada had a record-breaking number of new foreign students enrolled last year.
The high number of study permits issued last year was mostly owing to a double cohort of student arrivals: those who wanted to come to Canada in 2020 but were unable to due to the pandemic, as well as those who planned to start their studies in Canada in 2021.
Prior to the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) did not allow distance learning to credit toward PGWP eligibility, however, they have temporarily eased this policy until August 31, 2022, to assist people who choose to continue with their Canadian studies despite the pandemic.
PGWPs are available to international students who complete their studies at a Canadian-authorized learning institution. The PGWP allows international graduates to earn the Canadian work experience required to seek permanent residency. PGWPs are available to international students who complete their studies at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI).
The PGWP is highly sought after because it allows international graduates to earn the Canadian work experience required to seek permanent residence. DLIs are universities, colleges, and other post-secondary institutions that have been approved by the government to accommodate international students. Aside from the possibility of obtaining permanent residency, overseas students are drawn to Canada for a variety of reasons, including high-quality education, multiculturalism, and safety.
In addition, studying in Canada may be less expensive than in other nations with big international student populations, such as the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
As of December 31, 2021, the top five foreign student source countries were:
- India: 217,410
- China: 105,265
- France: 26,630
- Iran: 16,900
- Vietnam: 16,285
A further significant advantage of studying in Canada is that international students can work while studying, allowing them to support themselves financially and obtain more work experience. India is by far the most important source country, accounting for about 35% of Canada’s international student population. China is still in second place, followed by France.
India’s considerable participation can be explained in part by the fact that it has the world’s second-biggest English-speaking population and sizable middle-class demography.
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