Canada houses 642,000 international students making it the third most popular destination for international students.
The international student population in Canada grew by 13% in 2019 as compared to the previous year. Canada issued nearly 404,000 Study Permits in 2019. The international student population has increased nearly six times in the past twenty years in Canada. It has increased by three times in the last decade alone.
Nearly one-third of 34% of all international students in Canada come from India. India has a large middle-class population and the Indian population has a high level of English proficiency. An increase in household income and language proficiency are the principal reasons why more Indian students are qualifying for Canadian Universities.
The number of Indian students in Canada has risen by four times in the last 5 years. Canada’s Student Direct Stream has also greatly benefited international students from India. The Student Direct Stream is a fast-track route to studying in Canada for citizens of the following countries:
- Morocco, and
China takes the second spot in international student numbers with nearly 22% of the international student population in Canada coming from China. However, the number of Chinese students coming to China for their studies has stagnated over the years. India has, thus, taken over as the main source country for foreign students in Canada.
The other countries with the greatest number of international students in Canada are:
- South Korea
- United States of America
The strongest growth rates in international student numbers in the past 5 years have been posted by India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Colombia and Algeria.
Why is Canada gaining popularity among international students?
According to experts, the rise in the global middle-class population is the main reason behind Canada’s growing popularity among international students. Household incomes are now higher than what it used to be in the past. Parents all across the world are more aware of immigration opportunities. Hence, they are keener to send their children to pursue their higher education abroad.
According to UNESCO, there were 2 million international students in 2000. There are now over 5 million international students all over the world.
Canadian Universities have also had little choice than to recruit more foreign students to sustain themselves financially. Canada’s low birth rate has also caused a stagnation in the number of Canadian students between the age of 18 and 24 entering Canadian Universities. While Canada’s population has grown by 11% in the past 10 years, the college-going population (between 18 and 24 years) has also increased by 4%. With a dearth of Canada-born students, Canadian Universities are forced to recruit more international students to keep themselves operational.
Canada also offers some of the most competitive salary packages to international students. There are a large number of job opportunities available to international students which make Canada so popular among the international student fraternity. Moreover, foreign students are allowed to work part-time in Canada during their semesters. They can even work full-time when the class is not in session, like during their summer and winter breaks. International students are also eligible to apply for the Post-graduate Work Permit in Canada which has a validity of up to three years.
Which are the most popular provinces in Canada among international students?
A significant number of international students choose to study in Ontario. Ontario houses nearly 307,000 international students accounting for almost 48%.
The second most popular province in Canada is British Columbia with nearly 23% of all international students studying there. The province has nearly 145,000 foreign students studying in various educational institutions.
Quebec ranks third among the most popular province with 87,000 international students calling it home.
Nova Scotia and Manitoba also have a high number of international students. Both these provinces have more than 19,000 international students pursuing higher education in these provinces.
How can international students in Canada become Permanent Residents?
Canada has some of the most immigration friendly policies in the world helping the international student population in the country transition to Permanent Residency.
International students can apply for the Canada PR Visa process either through the Express Entry Program or through any of the Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada. Each province has a special pathway incorporated in the PNP to help international students gain Permanent Residency.
International students who apply for the Canada PR Visa through the Express Entry Program also stand at an advantage. The Express Entry Program is points-based and awards points on the basis of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The Comprehensive Ranking System of Canada awards extra points for Canadian education and work experience. The extra points help international students score more points than other applicants in the Express Entry Pool. You may check your CRS score with a CRS calculator.
High-quality education, well-known Universities, affordable tuition, and great job opportunities are some of the major reasons why more and more students are choosing to study in Canada.