International Students

Canada Welcomes a Record-Breaking 550,000 International Students in 2022

Published on: February 17th, 2023

Data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows a record number of international students were welcomed to Canada last year. Students came from 184 countries to study across Canada.

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The number of study permits has been on the rise in recent years, a positive trend for students considering coming to Canada to study. There were 107,145 more study permits issued in 2022 compared to 2021. This has also increased the total number of international students in Canada. As of the end of 2022,  there were 807,750 international students holding valid study permits which is another record-breaking high. 

International students came from 184 countries around the world. The top three countries of origin for students in 2022 were; India with 226,450 students coming to Canada, China with 52,165 students in Canada, and the Philippines with 23,380 students coming to Canada in 2022 to pursue their studies. 

The top 10 countries of origin for new international students entering Canada in 2022, were:

  1. India (226,450 students);
  2. China (52,165 students);
  3. Philippines (23,380 students);
  4. France (16,725 students)
  5. Nigeria (16,195 students);
  6. Iran (13,525 students);
  7. Republic of Korea (11,535 students);
  8. Japan (10,955 students);
  9. Mexico (10,405 students); and
  10. Brazil (10,405 students).

Canada Is a Top Study Destination for Many International Students

Canada has a lot to offer international students which puts it at the top of many international students lists. From the high quality of education to ample opportunities post-graduation, it’s no surprise that half a million students chose to come to Canada to study last year. 

High-Quality Education

Canada is home to several world-class universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia

These institutions offer a broad range of programs in fields such as engineering, medicine, and business, and their high standards of education are recognized internationally. Such strong programs attract students from all around the world. 


Higher education tends to be more affordable in Canada compared to other similar countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom. The cost of programs can vary but the average cost of undergraduate programs in Canada is between $20,000 and $40,000 (CAD). Canada also offers multiple financial aid programs for international students, which can often be more challenging in countries like the US. 

Ample Post-Graduation Opportunities

If your goal is to settle in Canada permanently, then studying in Canada is often the best first step.

Canada’s Post Graduation Work Program is designed to provide an efficient path for international students in Canada to gain permanent residence status in the country. By bridging Canadian education into meaningful full-time work experience in the country, a candidate is in a great position to apply under the Canadian Express Entry immigration system. Having a Canadian educational credential and work experience ensures that an Express Entry applicant will gain valuable extra points towards their comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score, making them more competitive amongst other applicants for gaining permanent resident status!

Provincial nominee programs (PNPs), or if you studied in Quebec, the Quebec Experience Class program, are also immigration categories that favour candidates with a Canadian educational credential and work experience.

Last year about 53,000 people transition from PGWP to permanent residence, making it a popular and attainable way for people to become Canadian permanent residents.

Canada Plans to Welcome the Highest-Ever Number of Newcomers in the Coming Years

Critical labour market shortages have led many to turn to immigration as a path forward in addressing these critical shortages. The new 2023-2025 Immigration Plan embraces immigration as a strategy to help businesses find workers. It also aims to attract the skills required to fill key sectors, such as in health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology. This will help to manage the social and economic challenges facing Canada in the decades ahead.

Over the next three years, Canada will increase the number of new immigrants to the country each year. Canada will aim to welcome 465,000 new immigrants in 2023. The target will rise to 485,000 new immigrants in 2024. And it will again rise in 2025 to 500,000 new immigrants. The plan also brings an increased focus on attracting newcomers to different regions of the country, including small towns and rural communities. 

The new plan also aims to increase regional programs to address targeted local labour market needs, through the Provincial Nominee Program, the Atlantic Immigration Program, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

Interested in learning more about your options to immigrate to Canada? Complete our free online assessment form today!

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