In a pivotal move to safeguard the integrity of Canada’s international student system, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has announced significant measures to stabilize the growth of international student permits. The government is set to implement a two-year cap on international student permit applications, targeting approximately 360,000 permits for 2024, reflecting a 35% decrease from the previous year. This strategic approach, weighted by population and with fairness in mind, addresses concerns such as revenue-driven increases in institutional intakes and insufficient support for arriving students.

The temporary measures, effective immediately, exclude study permit renewals, master’s and doctoral degrees, and elementary and secondary education. IRCC will manage the allocation of permits to provinces and territories, necessitating an attestation letter from each for permit applications. These measures aim to protect international students from potential abuse, encourage sustainable population growth, and alleviate pressures on crucial services such as housing and healthcare.

Significant adjustments to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program include the ineligibility of students in curriculum licensing arrangements for post-graduation work permits starting September 1, 2024. In contrast, graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will become eligible for a more extended 3-year work permit. Open work permits will now be exclusively available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs.

The government plans to reassess the number of new study permit applications accepted in 2025 at the end of the two-year period. During this time, collaborative efforts with provinces, territories, and education stakeholders will focus on developing a sustainable path forward for international students. This includes finalizing a recognized institution framework to ensure a positive academic experience while maintaining a stable student population.

The announcement underscores the pivotal role of international students in enriching Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric. These measures aim to strike a delicate balance by providing essential support and resources for a positive academic experience while effectively managing the overall number of students and mitigating pressures on essential Canadian services.

For your Study Permit, Spouse Sponsorship or Express Entry application, Contact RS Immigration at 778-229-0796.

Bibliography: “Canada to Stabilize Growth and Decrease Number of New International Student Permits Issued to Approximately 360,000 for 2024.” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. January 22, 2024.