Canada will be granting 2,92,000 study permits to international students this year.

Canada has set a study permit cap, with approximately 292,000 permits available to undergraduate and postgraduate students by 2024. The quota aims to reduce “unsustainable growth” in the international student program; nevertheless, the immigration minister has the authority to limit visa applications rather than visa issuance.

Canada has implemented a study permit cap, with the Trudeau government distributing around 292,000 permits to undergraduate and postgraduate students by 2024. 

According to a recent Globe and Mail story, Marc Miller, Canada’s Immigration Minister, has revealed the true amount of study permits available for college and undergraduate international students in 2024—approximately 292,000. 

This comes after Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) imposed an overall cap on study permit applications to address what they call “unsustainable growth” in the international student program. 

The initial cap of around 360,000 was intended to reduce the number of accepted study permits by 35% over two years, emphasizing the need to improve the system’s integrity. However, the immigration minister may not have the statutory authority to limit the number of authorized visas to those handled by the IRCC. 

During a hearing before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM), Minister Miller stated, “I can only cap the applications, not the actual issuance of visas.” 

The cap was designed to limit intake levels and was distributed to the general public throughout Canada. Miller’s orders excluded primary and secondary schools, as well as master’s and doctorate-level university programs, resulting in an estimated 360,000 accepted study permits by 2024 (assuming a 60% approval rate). 

The execution of this study permit cap has been delegated to provincial governments, and IRCC expects them to provide Provincial Attestation Letters (PALs) to eligible international students. 

DLIs (Designated Learning Institutions) in each province are responsible for awarding PALs, which reflect the student’s permission to contribute to the province’s study permit allocation. 

To apply for a study permit under the new system, candidates must now provide both a letter of acceptance (LOA) and a PAL. Previously, only the LOA was required. 

The number of allocations made for each province or territory is determined by its population. Currently, only British Columbia and Alberta have announced systems for distributing PALs. Students will receive PALs from their DLIs and apply to the provincial government once they have met all eligibility conditions. 

The federal government has set a March 31, 2024 deadline for all provincial governments to design and implement PAL delivery systems, signaling a significant shift in the landscape for international students seeking to study in Canada

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