In a significant development, Canada has introduced a series of changes to its study permit policies for international students in 2024. These changes aim to stabilize growth and better align the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program with the country’s immigration objectives.
Key Changes in Study Permit Policies
Cap on New Study Permits
The most notable change is the introduction of a two-year cap on new international student visas. This cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023.
The cap will not affect current study permit holders or those pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, and elementary and secondary education.
Attestation Letter Requirement
From January 22, 2024, every study permit application submitted to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will require an attestation letter from a province or territory.
Provinces and territories are expected to establish a process for issuing these letters by March 31, 2024.
Changes to Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
Starting September 1, 2024, the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program will change. International students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will be affected by these changes.
Impact on International Students
These changes are set to significantly impact prospective international students. The cap on new study permits and the requirement for an attestation letter could potentially delay the processing of new applications until March 31, 2024.
However, students who have already submitted their study permit applications before January 22, 2024, will not be affected by these changes.
Your Top 5 Next Steps
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest updates from official channels like the IRCC website and trusted news outlets.
- Understand the Changes: Familiarize yourself with the new policies and how they may affect your plans to study in Canada.
- Plan Accordingly: Adjust your plans for studying abroad in 2024 in light of these changes.
- Prepare for Delays: Be prepared for potential delays in the processing of new study permit applications until March 31, 2024.
- Seek Guidance: Consult with immigration experts or educational institutions to navigate these changes effectively.
While these changes may seem daunting, they are part of Canada’s efforts to ensure a sustainable and high-quality education system for international students.
By staying informed and planning accordingly, prospective students can successfully navigate these changes and continue to pursue their educational aspirations in Canada.