Amid the ongoing tensions between India and Canada, along with growing concerns among parents about the hefty investments in their children’s education in Canada, staggering statistics reveal a capital outflow of a staggering Rs 68,000 crore each year from Punjab.
According to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a total of 226,450 visas were approved for Indian students in 2022. Of these, a significant portion, approximately 1.36 lakh students, hailed from Punjab, pursuing various courses with an average duration of two to three years. Current estimates from student visa processing agencies suggest that around 3.4 lakh Punjabi students are currently enrolled in various educational institutions across Canada.
Chairman of the Association of Consultants for Overseas Studies, Kamal Bhumla, stated, “Based on the figures available to us, nearly 60 percent of Indians migrating to Canada are Punjabi, accounting for an estimated 1.36 lakh students who went last year. On average, each student pays approximately 17,000 Canadian dollars in annual fees, in addition to depositing 10,200 Canadian dollars as Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) funds.” Bhumla, with nearly three decades of experience in the visa processing business, also pointed out that until 2008, only 38,000 Punjabis were heading to Canada each year.
Sandeep Makkar, an employee at a private company, who has two daughters pursuing degree courses in Canadian colleges, shared his experience, saying, “On average, I had to allocate nearly Rs 22 lakh per child per year, covering tuition fees, GIC, and other overhead expenses. Depending on their standard of living in Canada, students need between 3,000 to 5,500 Canadian dollars per year, which parents have to provide for at least the initial two years.”
A senior official from a prominent forex company in Jalandhar added, “We often observe that the average expenditure incurred by Punjabi parents to send their children to Canada on a student visa amounts to approximately Rs 20 lakh per year. Extrapolating from this data, it is safe to estimate that there are at least 3.4 lakh Punjabi students in Canada, collectively contributing Rs 68,000 crore annually to the Land of the Maple Leaf.”
The surge of Punjabi students on Canadian campuses is a noteworthy trend, with nearly 60 percent of all Indian students moving to Canada being of Punjabi origin. Approximately 1.36 lakh Punjabi students made the journey to Canada last year, with each student paying an average annual fee of around 17,000 Canadian dollars, as stated by Kamal Bhumla, Chairman of the Association of Consultants for Overseas Studies.