Toronto, Jan 20 (IANS) The number of international students in Canada now goes beyond one million, official figures say, just as the country mulls capping their arrival amid growing cost of living crisis.
Tt the end of December last year, there were 1,028,850 study permit holders, with just over half of them in Ontario, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) told The Globe and Mail news outlet.
The numbers that have increased rapidly from 637,855 in 2019 to 807,260 in 2022, include school, college and university students and those pursuing “other studies”.
According to the IRCC, of the million-plus study permit holders, 526,015 were in Ontario, 202,565 in British Columbia, 117,925 in Quebec, 18,695 in Saskatchewan, and only 10 in Nunavut.
Much of Canada’s population growth — now one of the fastest in the world — comes from foreign students, non-permanent residents, and temporary foreign workers, according to immigration experts.
More than 60,000 international students became permanent residents of Canada in 2023 — representing an increase of 9,670 from the 52,740 international graduates who became international students in 2022, an IRCC data said.
Last week, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said he will closely analyse the number of international students and temporary residents entering into the country with the government facing backlash over housing affordability and rising cost of living.
Further, he called on the provinces to stop licensing sub-standard private colleges that he says churn foreign graduates out like “puppy mills”.
India remains the top source country for international students in Canada, followed by China.
The number of permits given to Indian students declined by four per cent last year due to a diplomatic row between the two nations, but they remained the largest group, according to Immigration Minister Marc Miller.
In a move likely to impact Indians, Miller announced that from this year, the students will have to show at least in their CA$20,635 account on top of their one-year tuition fees, and if they bring one family member, they will need to show an additional CA$4,000.
To get a study visa to Canada, a student currently needs to show $10,000 in his or her account for covering the initial cost of living.