The latest data reveals a significant decrease in the number of Canadian study permit applications processed for Indian students since July of this year. Between July and October of 2022, the Canadian government processed almost 146,000 new study permit applications for Indian students, but across the same period in 2023, the government has processed fewer than 87,000. This means that 60,000 fewer student visas were processed for Indian students from July to October 2023 than over the same period in 2022.
According to ApplyBoard, an online platform for international student recruitment, the decline in study permit applications may be due to international students sharing their experiences on social media about the challenges they have faced in Canada, particularly the high cost of living. ApplyBoard conducted a sentiment analysis of top-tier Indian media and found that the number of articles written about housing in Canada increased significantly between April and August of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
In response to the increased cost of living, the Government of Canada has introduced several policies to help residents with their expenses, such as the Affordability Plan, which includes a $12.1 billion CAD investment to increase affordability across the country. The plan includes measures such as cutting childcare fees by 50% in Ontario and increasing the Old Age Security (OAS) pension by 10% for seniors.
Despite the decrease in study permit applications processed for Indian students, study permit approval rates for Indian students have continued to climb, with 32,000 more Indian students approved to study in Canada from January to September this year than last year. Canada welcomed a record 551,405 international students from 184 countries in 2022, with India being the top source country of new international students, accounting for 226,450 Indian students.
While study permits processed for Indian students have decreased, the study permits processed for students from other countries have increased, resulting in a more diverse set of applicants to Canadian educational institutions. It is projected that 200,000 to 210,000 Indian students will be approved to study in Canada in 2023, depending on how the current approval rate holds. Overall, students from countries other than India are still very interested in coming to study in Canada, with the number of study permits processed for all other countries rising by 34% from July to October 2023.
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