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Post-pandemic Situation in Canada

All About Post-Pandemic Recovery of International Student Enrollment in Canada

The post-pandemic recovery process for international students in Canada paced during last year. Before the pandemic, this country had over 400,000 study permits. However, the figure fell to just over 255,000 in 2020. The spike in new study permits has led to the post-pandemic recovery of the international student population. This article discusses the situations of Canada’s international students before the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery process.


In this guide:

How many Internationals Study in Canada?

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently released updated data about new study permits every month.

New study permits belong to new international students arriving in Canada and those already living in this country who own a study permit.

Canada released almost 450,000 new study permits in 2021, a staggering figure that quickly broke the previous record set in 2019.

Before the pandemic, this country issued almost 400,000 study permits. By 2020, this figure had decreased to 255,000.

Unsurprisingly, the most recent study permits—over 200,000—were issued between July and August, just before the academic year 2021–2022.

Every year, around the first quarter, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada release year-end statistics that account for everyone with a valid study visa as of December 31.

The increase in new study visas allowed the number of international students in Canada to reach pre-pandemic levels nearly.

There were more than 620,000 international students in Canada as of December 31.

Before the pandemic caused it to decline to about 530,000 international students in 2020, it stood at close to 640,000 persons in 2019.

By the number of individuals holding a study permit as of December 31, 2021, these are the top 10 foreign student source countries:

  1. India: almost 218000 students
  2. China: almost 106000 students
  3. France: almost 27000 students
  4. Iran: almost 17000 students
  5. Vietnam: almost 17000 students
  6. South Korea: almost 16000 students
  7. The Philippines: almost 16000 students
  8. The United States: almost 15000 students
  9. Nigeria: almost 14000 students
  10. Mexico: almost 12000 students


🚩You can read more about studying in Canada as an international student in the link below:

How Canada Travel Restrictions Affected Students? | Post-Pandemic Recovery

When the appearance of the Omicron variant forced Canadian colleges and universities to delay the recent winter term or begin it online, it was a blow for many international students!

They were afraid yet another portion of their lives would be devoured by pandemic monotony, and they could not continue their studies.

Despite the challenges accompanying the shift online during the pandemic, students seem to have persevered in the post-pandemic recovery process.

Around the time of March 2020, at the start of the epidemic, Canada imposed travel restrictions that impacted many incoming overseas students who had yet to visit the country.

Canada loosened these limitations in October 2020. The international students were given time to heal.

It explains why Canada had a record-breaking influx of new overseas students during that school year.

Last year, a double cohort of new students arrived, contributing significantly to many study permits released.

Those who wished to immigrate in 2020 but could not and those who planned to start in 2021 are included.

Post-pandemic work situation in Canada

What are Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Rules?

Relaxing Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) regulations in Canada was crucial to post-pandemic recovery.

Before the pandemic, IRCC prohibited online education from being used to determine PGWP eligibility.

Those who desire to continue their education plans despite the pandemic have temporarily relaxed this guideline until August 31, 2022.

A PGWP is available to international students who complete their studies at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) that is qualified.

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The Post-Graduation Work Permit is highly sought after because it allows foreign graduates to acquire the Canadian work experience they frequently need to be qualified to seek permanent residency.

The designated learning institutions are colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions approved by the government to host international students.

Study after pandemic in Canada

How is Study in Canada after Pandemic? | Post-Pandemic Recovery

The first step to studying in Canadian universities is researching educational programs and designated learning institutions.

When DLIs accept your applications, you can get a Letter of Acceptance (LOA). You can apply for a Canadian study visa at IRCC using the LOA.

Among other post-pandemic recovery requirements, IRCC considers evidence of your sincere interest in studying in Canada and your ability to pay for your education and living expenses.

Additionally, residents of 14 other countries can apply for accelerated study permits through IRCC’s Student Direct Stream (SDS).

India, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, Morocco, Senegal, Brazil, Columbia, and Peru are among the most powerful countries.

Numerous immigration schemes in Canada reward applicants who completed their studies here.

For a Canadian study abroad experience, one can increase their Express Entry score.

Numerous more streams run by the IRCC, the provinces, and the territories either function exactly or are exclusive to graduates from other countries.

Canadian government research demonstrates that overseas graduates frequently have positive job market outcomes after gaining permanent residence.

International students claim that, in addition to the possibility of obtaining permanent residency, Canada’s top-notch education system, multiculturalism, and safety are among the attractions for them.

Additionally, studying in Canada may be less expensive than studying in countries like Australia, the US, or the UK with substantial international students.

Another critical benefit is international college students of colleges and universities can work while studying in Canada.

They can support themselves financially and advance their careers thanks to these post-pandemic rehabilitation guidelines.

Finally, there is no denying that the current state of many local and international students is upsetting.

The pandemic has amplified inequities so that well-off people tend to fare better, while those without support may struggle more.

However, it is not easy to know whether university students are learning as much as they would in person or whether the university experience has comparably enriched them.

🚩You can read more about tuition fees and living costs in Canada:


It may be a little early to understand how the pandemic affects international students and graduates entirely. However, new researches like Postsecondary Student Information System cycles let us have a more in-depth exploration of the effect of the pandemic on enrolments and graduates in this country. If you have more questions regarding post-pandemic recovery in Canada, ask us in the comments section below.

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