Recent data indicates that the processing of Canadian study permit applications for Indian students has decreased by over 40% since July of this year.
Between July and October 2022, the Canadian government approved nearly 146,000 new study permit applications for Indian students. However, during the same period in 2023, the government has only approved less than 87,000.
This indicates that there was a decrease of 60,000 in the processing of student visas for Indian students from July to October 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
According to data from a recently published article by ApplyBoard, an online resource for recruiting international students, there may be a reason for this decline in part because an increasing number of international students are complaining about the high cost of living in Canada on social media and posting about their struggles there.
ApplyBoard performed a sentiment analysis of eminent Indian media outlets in order to verify the theory. It was discovered that, in comparison to the same period in 2022, the number of articles produced about housing in Canada grew fivefold between April and August of 2023. Furthermore, the proportion of information that was marked as negative increased from 12 to 30%.
Will fewer Indian students come to Canada?
According to ApplyBoard, study permit approval rates need to be examined to assess the impact of actual student inflows.
Study permit approval rates for Indian students have continued to climb. In fact, 32,000 more Indian students were approved to study in Canada from January to September this year than last year, despite the drop in applications processed.
In 2022, Canada welcomed a record 551,405 international students from 184 countries. The number one source country of new international students entering Canada in 2022 was India, with 226,450 Indian students.
Canada is on track to surpass the 2022 total for student visas approved for Indian students. If processing volumes remain near half of 2022 totals, ApplyBoard projects 200,000 to 210,000 Indian students will be approved to study in Canada in 2023, depending on how the current approval rate holds.
Students from different nations are making up the difference
ApplyBoard’s insights also explained students from nations other than India continue to express a strong desire to study in Canada. Specifically, there was a 34% increase in the quantity of study permits for all other nations processed between July and October of 2023. By December 2023, there were 52% more study permits processed than there were the previous year.
A more diversified pool of applicants to Canadian educational institutions is the result of this increase. Although nearly half of all student visas processed last year were presented by Indian students, in 2023 their share dropped to only 36%.