Over 60K foreign students became permanent residents of Canada in 2023

The nation opened its doors to immigrants to replace aging workers and fill labour gaps.

Toronto: Even as Canada considers capping the arrival of international students amid growing housing crisis, 62,410 of them became permanent residents of the country in 2023, according to the country’s immigration data.

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This number represented an increase of 9,670 from the 52,740 international graduates who became international students in 2022, a November 2023 Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data said.

Much of Canada’s population growth — now one of the fastest in the world — comes from foreign students, non-permanent residents, and temporary foreign workers, according to immigration experts.

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The nation opened its doors to immigrants to replace aging workers and fill labour gaps, but the boom in numbers has put a strain on the country’s resources.

Last week, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said he will closely analyse the number of international students and temporary residents entering into the country with the government facing backlash over housing affordability and rising cost of living.

The minister said he is mulling over options, which include reforming permits and capping intake of non-permanent residents.

Meanwhile, Montreal-based Desjardins Securities warned that closing doors to temporary workers and foreign students allowed into Canada would blunt the country’s economic recovery and deepen recession.

According to predictions by the capital market company, the country’s real GDP would drop by 0.7 per cent in 2024 and grow an average of 1.78 per cent annually over the following four years.

There are many pathways available to international students who want to transition to Canadian permanent residence, and the fastest among them is the Express Entry Program. International students form the biggest cohort opting for permanent residency in Canada every year with Indians grabbing the lion’s share.

The number of permits given to Indian students declined by four per cent last year due to a diplomatic row between the two nations, but they remained the largest group, according to Miller.

There are approximately 330,000 new immigrants and students from India living in Canada as of 2023.

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