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Canada Breaks Record: 800,000 International Students in 2022

clock iconCreated At:19 February, 2023
write iconCreated By:Allaa Ashraf

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A record 551,405 international students from 184 countries were admitted to Canada in 2022, according to recent data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Furthermore, as of December 31st, 2022, there were 807,750 international students with valid study visas, which is an all-time high record.

Even though the government promised to reduce chronic backlogs, Canada needed help handling an inflow of applications. In November, the IRCC announced that processing times for study permits had mostly returned to the standard 60 days after months of delays.

Indian students received almost 41% (226,450) of these as the nation's growth kept accelerating. Indians now make up roughly four times as many people as they did in 2019, when 58,435 study permits were given to this group.

With 52,165 licences given in 2022 compared to 55,900 the year before, China was the second most popular source country for international students. From pre-pandemic levels in 2019, when 84,155 permits were issued, this represents a sustained reduction.

In total, 319,130 Indians held study permits in Canada, followed by 100,075 Chinese citizens. Other top source countries included the Philippines (32,455), France (27,135), Nigeria (21,660), and Korea (16,505).

With the release of pent-up demand during the pandemic, Alain Roy, vice president of international partnerships at Colleges and Institutes Canada, said the increase was "not surprising."

Roy continued that with its acceptance of diversity, access to high-quality education, and chances for employment both during and after studies, Canada "continues to be attractive." According to what our members are telling us, this year's increase has been controllable.

"It is true that the rising demand for international students has increased strain on the capacity of the major destination cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, as well as in other areas that have also seen tremendous expansion.”

"Colleges and institutes have mostly prepared for this," he added. "They have scaled up student services and planned the availability of seats."

Ontario was the most popular study destination, with 52% (289,835) of all newly issued permits. British Columbia came in second with 19% of all 2022 permits. More than half (411,985) of all international students in Canada had visas connected to institutions in Ontario.

Other regions, such as New Brunswick, Alberta, and Nova Scotia, have tried to entice international students away from the province with the largest population in Canada with new investments.

Critics have warned that the nation may not be able to handle the volume of applications for permanent residency that will likely come through the pipeline from international students in the upcoming years as a result of the influx of international students, which has raised alarm bells across some sectors of the global education sector.

Higher Education Strategy Associates president Alex Usher states that institutions could likely continue admitting students indefinitely. "The issue is whether localities have enough room to accommodate that many transient residents." No, they don't, at least not in Ontario, where the majority of the increase occurs.

To address the availability of affordable accommodation for incoming students, Roy stated that CICan has been collaborating with "local and provincial authorities."

To establish methods to keep giving international students a high-quality experience, colleges and institutes organised numerous local and regional summits and roundtables in 2022, he said.


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