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Canada Sets New Record in Issuing Study Permits, Becoming a Leading Destination for International Students


In ApplyBoard's latest report, "Top Trends in International Education for 2024 and Beyond," showcases Canada's leading role in attracting international students among English-speaking western nations.

The Canadian ed-tech firm's findings reveal that Canada has set a new benchmark in processing study permits, with numbers reaching record highs.

In 2022, Canada achieved a remarkable milestone by handling close to 740,000 student visa applications, surpassing the previous year's figures by 34%.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down, as 2023 is on track to set another record, with over 660,000 applications processed in just the first nine months.

However, the United States and Germany are rapidly gaining ground in this area. The United States, in particular, has witnessed a significant surge in its international student community, indicating a more competitive landscape in global education.

Remarkable surge in student interest!

The United States witnessed a remarkable surge in student interest, with the government handling over 630,000 F-1 visa applications in the 2022 fiscal year, as reported by ApplyBoard.

This figure represents a 42% increase from 2021 and is the highest since 2016, marking a significant turnaround from the downward trend that began that year.

Similarly, the United Kingdom has seen a substantial increase in its international student numbers. ApplyBoard points out that close to 490,000 sponsored study visa applications were processed in the UK in 2022, exceeding the previous year's total by 26%.

However, there are concerns that the growth of international student numbers in the UK might be reaching a plateau.

[Are you looking for: Complete Guidance to Study in Canada]

Germany to become a major competitor

In the first half of 2023, the UK issued 105,000 visas for sponsored students, a modest increase of 4% compared to the same timeframe in 2022. This growth pales in comparison to the 58% surge observed from 2021 to 2022.

Notably, many UK educational institutions have experienced lower enrollments than anticipated for their September 2023 start, and there's a noticeable downturn in applications for January 2024 and beyond.

Beyond the Anglophone sphere, Germany is gaining traction as a prominent destination for international education.

ApplyBoard observes, Germany is poised to become a major competitor in attracting international students to study in Germany. In the academic year 2022/23, Germany welcomed close to 368,000 international students, marking a 5% increase from the previous year and setting a new record.

Germany's appeal includes free tuition for most programs at public universities. Additionally, international students can secure an 18-month visa to seek employment in their field of study post-graduation.

Notably, about 40% of international students in Germany choose to stay in the country long-term.

Meanwhile, in Canada, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is planning reforms to combat fraud in the international student admissions process, targeting deceptive practices by some entities.

Key Highlights

  1. Canada's Record-Breaking Study Permit Issuance: According to ApplyBoard's report, Canada has reached a new high in processing study permits, with close to 740,000 student visa applications handled in 2022, a 34% increase from the previous year.
  2. Continued Growth in 2023: In just the first nine months of 2023, Canada has processed over 660,000 applications, indicating a potential for setting another record in study permit issuance.
  3. Increasing Competition from the US and Germany: The United States has experienced a 42% increase in F-1 visa applications in 2022, the highest since 2016, while Germany has become a notable competitor with a 5% increase in international students in the 2022/23 academic year.
  4. UK's Growing International Student Numbers: The UK processed nearly 490,000 sponsored study visa applications in 2022, a 26% increase from the previous year, but shows signs of plateauing in student growth.
  5. Germany's Rising Popularity: Germany is emerging as a major player in international education, with free tuition at public universities and an 18-month post-graduation job-seeking visa. Nearly 40% of international students in Germany opt to stay long-term.
  6. Canada's Immigration Reforms: The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is implementing reforms to combat fraud in the international student admissions process.
  7. Downturn in UK Applications: The UK observed lower than anticipated enrollments for September 2023 and a downturn in applications for January 2024 and beyond.

[Check out: A detailed guide to apply UK Student Visa]

Frequently Asked Questions

Canada: The Great White North is Number 1 on this list. With easy immigration processes, a welcoming society, great education and healthcare, cool weather, and the ever-growing job market, Canada is the undisputed leader in immigration potential.

Germany: The Deutschland is famous for precision, quality, and high expectations. Unsurprisingly, it makes the list but we’re still going to spell it out. Currently, home to over 170,000 Indians, Germany is a melting pot of different cultures mostly from other countries in the EU. A veritable hub for mechanical engineering, Germany has a low level of corruption, and a love for innovation and is home to over 25 Fortune 500 companies. With the demand for highly skilled professionals, Germany is a choice destination for young, smart immigrants from all over the world.

Provincial Nominee Program is one of the best routes for Canadian immigration. Every province (state) in Canada has its criteria for immigration. This criterion is custom-fitted to reflect the needs and growth opportunities arising in that respective province.

A Master’s Degree translates directly into a better CRS score. Your educational qualifications reflect the contribution you would make to the destination country’s economy which means that you would be more sought after. Speaking one of the country's primary languages (Eg: French for Canada) also greatly raises your chances for both visa success as well job opportunities.

If you fall under the NOC list in Canada or SOL in Australia (Occupations in demand list), it means that jobs are readily available for qualified candidates. On average, individuals earn 8 times as much salary in Canada as compared to India.


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