Personal Immigration News

Canada welcomed a record number of 450,000  International students in 2021

Last year, nearly 450,000 new study permits were issued in Canada, a staggering number that easily surpassed the previous all-time high set in 2019.

Federal and provincial immigration programs reward with additional points the candidates who have studied in Canada. Extra points can be earned for Canadian education through Express Entry, and a variety of additional streams run by IRCC and provinces. International graduates highly contribute to the economy and labor market of the country. Therefore, the Canadian government encourages international graduate students to gain Canadian work experience and further permanent residence through various immigration programs. After three years of physical residence within five years, permanent residents may apply for Canadian citizenship. Canadian passports combined with Canadian work experience allow students to be on the top of highly demanded specialists and offer a privilege to gain well-paid employment in Canada and internationally.

In 2021, approximately 450,000 new study permits were issued in Canada, substantially breaking the previous record. Canada had almost 622,000 international students as of December 31st. Its international student population peaked at over 640,000 in 2019, before plummeting to around 530,000 in 2020 due to the epidemic. In 2019, the previous all-time high was established.

New examine permits that take effect are announced on a monthly basis by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These include new students arriving in Canada as well as foreign citizens currently residing in Canada who successfully obtain a study permit.

Prior to the pandemic, just over 400,000 new study permits were issued in Canada, with that number dropping to just over 255,000 in 2020. In comparison to 2015, the number for last year was more than doubled.

The easing of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) requirements in Canada was undoubtedly a crucial factor in the recovery. Prior to the pandemic, IRCC did not allow remote learning to count toward PGWP eligibility, but they have temporarily eased this restriction until August 31, 2022, to assist students who desire to continue their studies in Canada despite the pandemic.

PGWPs are available to international students who complete their studies at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI). The PGWP is widely valued because it allows international graduates to earn the Canadian work experience that they generally require in order to be eligible to seek permanent residency. Universities, colleges, and other post-secondary institutions that have been approved by the government to accept international students are known as DLIs.

The top 10 international student source countries (by number of study permit holders on December 31, 2021) were:

  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
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