Canada caps foreign student permits by 35 per cent

Toronto: Canada has announced it will implement an intake cap on the number of applications accepted for study permits for international students which is expected to result in 35% reduction in those numbers this year as compared to 2023. This was announced by Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller, who said the “temporary” cap will be placed for two years and the cap for 2025 re-assessed at the end of this year.

“For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced. “It’s unacceptable that some private institutions have taken advantage of international students by operating under-resourced campuses, lacking supports for students and charging high tuition fees all the while significantly increasing their intake of international students,” he said at a press conference in Montreal.

IRCC said, “Some institutions have significantly increased their intakes to drive revenues, and more students have been arriving in Canada without the proper support they need to succeed. Rapid increases in the number of international students arriving in Canada also put pressure on housing, health care and other services.”

There was increasing political pressure on the government to control temporary immigration due to a housing affordability crisis and the announcement came as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began a Cabinet retreat in Quebec city.

Canada recorded over a million, 1,028,850, study permit holders in the country for the first time ever in 2023. The country also announced that post-graduate work permits will not be issued to international students attending private colleges operating under a curriculum licensing program. Under such programs, students physically attend a private college that has been licensed to deliver the curriculum of an associated public college and they have been considered a source of abuse of the system.

“These programs have seen significant growth in attracting international students in recent years, though they have less oversight than public colleges and they act as a loophole with regards to post-graduation work permit eligibility,” IRCC said.

Image courtesy of X@MarcMillerVM

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