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Home International Student Corner Study permit capping among measures taken to protect international students in Canada

Study permit capping among measures taken to protect international students in Canada

Study permit capping among measures taken to protect international students in Canada

The number of study permits issued to those who wish to study in Canada as an international student will be capped at approximately 360,000 for the year 2024. That is 35% fewer study permits compared to 2023.

This action by the Canadian government is to ensure that students coming to Canada succeed in their education while getting the right support and without overstretching services. The measure, which is expected to last for two years, will be reassessed at the end of the year before the new number of study permits is announced in 2025.

Provincial and territorial participation

The measure concerning people who wish to study in Canada as an international student also includes individual caps, weighted by population, for each province and territory, which will then distribute their allocation amongst their learning institutions that are allowed to take international students. 

To implement this cap, as of January 22, 2024, every student permit application submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) must also carry a letter of attestation from the relevant provincial or territorial body, which must be set up by March 31, 2024. 

Also read: Canada announces measures to protect international students from admission fraud

“International students are vital to Canada and enrich our communities. As such, we have an obligation to ensure that they have access to the resources they need for an enriching academic experience. In Canada, today, this isn’t always the case. We are announcing additional measures to protect a system that has become so lucrative that it has opened a path for its abuse,” said Marc Miller, Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, at the time of the announcement.

“Through the decisive measures announced today, we are striking the right balance for Canada and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system while setting students up for the success they hope for,” Minister Miller added.

Changes to work permits for those who study in Canada as an international student

Furthermore, to increase the number of skilled workers with advanced degrees available to the Canadian job market, graduates from master’s degrees and other short-term graduate programs will soon be eligible to apply for a three-year work permit, providing them with a longer amount of time to secure work in the country, once they have completed their study in Canada as an international student. 

In this context, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students who came to Canada to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. Spouses of international students pursuing undergraduate and college degrees will not be eligible for a work permit. 

Starting September 1, 2024, international students who commence a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit. A curriculum licensing agreement means that a student physically attends a private college that has been licensed to deliver the curriculum of an associated public college.

It is believed that these colleges, in particular, have been particularly successful in attracting those who wish to study in Canada as international students, since they have less oversight than their public counterparts, and act as a loophole when it comes to eligibility for postgraduate work permits.

Creating a safe environment for international students

It is believed that these measures will help protect international students in Canada by keeping them safe from bad actors. The move is also aimed at supporting sustainable population growth, decreasing the pressure on healthcare, housing, and other essential services, and stabilizing the country’s student population. 

The measures announced on January 23, 2024, are the latest steps being taken to limit the number of international students coming to Canada. Previous controls include increasing the cost of living requirement for international students and looking at limiting them to 20 hours of work a week after April 2024. 

Also read: Opting for the international student visa route for Canada? Follow Jodi McDonald’s advice

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