In 2024, Canada aims to reduce the number of newly issued international student permits to approximately 360,000 to stabilize growth.

International students are an essential component of Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric, and they enrich our communities. The integrity of the international student system has been jeopardized in recent years. As a result of some institutions substantially increasing their enrollment to boost revenue, an increasing number of students are arriving in Canada without the necessary support to succeed.

The rapid influx of international students into Canada has put a strain on housing, healthcare, and additional services. In the pursuit of promoting sustainable population growth in Canada and safeguarding international students against malicious actors, the government is implementing measures to stabilize the inflow of international students. The Greatest Honorable Minister of Immigration, Refugees,

and Citizenship, Marc Miller, made the following announcement today: To stabilize new growth for a period of two years, the Government of Canada will impose an intake limit on applications for international student permits. It is anticipated that the implementation of the limit will yield around 360,000 authorized study permits in 2024, reflecting a reduction of 35% compared to 2023. In the pursuit of equity, population-weighted provincial and territorial limits have been implemented, causing considerably more substantial reductions in provinces where the unsustainable growth of the international student population has been most pronounced. Renewal of study permits will remain unaffected.

The limit does not apply to individuals teaching elementary and secondary school or those pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees. Present holders of study permits will remain unaffected. The provinces and territories will receive a portion of the cap from IRCC, which they will then distribute to the designated educational institutions in their respective regions. Every study permit application submitted to IRCC after January 22, 2024, will additionally necessitate an attestation letter from a province or territory to enforce the quota. By March 31, 2024, at the latest, provinces and territories are obligated to establish a procedure for the issuance of attestation letters to pupils. By the end of this year, a reevaluation will be conducted to determine the maximum number of study permit applications that will be accepted in 2025. These interim measures will remain in effect for a period of two years. Throughout this phase, the Canadian government will maintain its collaboration with designated learning institutions, provincial and territorial governments, and national education stakeholders to establish a sustainable trajectory for international students. This will involve the finalization of a framework for recognized institutions, the determination of long-term sustainable numbers of international students, and the assurance that postsecondary institutions have sufficient student housing. To improve the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program’s alignment, the eligibility requirements are being modified. International students who enroll in a program of study through a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit upon completion of their studies beginning September 1, 2024. Students are required to attend a private college that has obtained a license to administer the curriculum of an affiliated public college by curriculum licensing agreements. Recent years have witnessed a substantial increase in the number of international students enrolling in these programs; however, they are subject to less regulation than public institutions and provide a loophole regarding eligibility for a work permit after graduation.

Shortly, graduates of master’s degree programs will be eligible to file for a three-year work permit. Currently, only the length of a person’s academic program determines the duration of a postgraduate work permit. This constraint poses a hindrance to master’s degree recipients as it restricts their opportunities to acquire practical experience and potentially make the transition to permanent residency. Open work permits will become exclusively accessible to spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs in the coming weeks. No longer eligible are the spouses of international students enrolled in programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The significant measures unveiled today serve as a supplement to the International Student Program reforms that were recently announced. Collectively, these measures seek to guarantee that authentic students obtain the necessary assistance and resources to embark on a rewarding academic journey in Canada. Simultaneously, they strive to maintain a steady influx of students and relieve strains on housing, healthcare, and other essential services within the country.

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