Canada’s International Student Population Hits 1 Million, Officials Say

Canada North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Jan 22, 2024

people in Toronto, Canada

Canada welcomed over one million international students in 2023, a nearly 28 percent increase from the previous year, according to official sources.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) told The Globe and Mail that the number of study permit holders in Canada reached 1,028,850 by the end of December 2023, up from 807,260 in 2022.

This indicates that the number has surpassed the IRCC’s previous projection of having 949,000 international students in 2023 and more than one million in 2024, reports.

Officials said that the predominant destination for the majority of these students (526,015) was Ontario, followed by 202,565 in British Columbia, 117,925 in Quebec, 18,695 in Saskatchewan, and only 10 in Nunavut.

The same stressed that over 60,000 international students received permanent residency in Canada last year, which is 9,670 more students than in 2022 when 52,740 international graduates became permanent residents in the country.

India continues to be the main source of international students in Canada. Of 579,075 study permits granted in 2023, about 215,190 were issued to Indian students. In other words, students from India accounted for 37 percent of the total study permits issued in Canada as of November 2023.

According to official data, there were 807,750 international students in Canada at all levels of study at the end of 2022.

Data by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) showed the number of international students in Canada increased by 31 percent between 2021 and 2022.

The same reveals that by the end of 2022, Canada witnessed a 43 percent increase in international student numbers in five years and about a 170 percent increase over the last ten years.

The most significant rise has been witnessed among students from Ukraine, experiencing a 269 percent increase. Following closely are students from Nepal, up 258 percent, and students from Peru, whose numbers have risen by 115 percent.

Data by Statista indicate the number of international students with valid study permit in Canada has shown the following trends over the years:

Year Int'l Students
2016 410,560
2017 490,760
2018 566,950
2019 637,855
2020 527,365
2021 617,250
2022 807,260

As of January 1, 2024, Canada increased the cost-of-living financial requirement for international students, meaning the latter should now have $20,635 to study in Canada. Previously, applicants needed to pay $10,000 for a study permit in Canada.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, has recently stated that Canada is considering limiting the number of international students to alleviate the housing affordability crisis.


>> Canada: Advocate Warns of Potential Decrease in Int'l Students Following Raised Income Requirement

>> Concerns Rise as Canadian College Cancels International Students’ Admission Offers

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