Canada has announced major changes to its International Student Program, including capping new study permits to 360,000 in 2024, a 35% reduction from 2023. The changes aim to stabilize growth, strengthen program integrity, and support students.
New 2-Year Cap on Study Permits
- Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a temporary 2-year cap on new study permits for 2024 and 2025Cap expected to result in 360,000 study permits in 2024, down 35% from over 550,000 in 2023
- Provinces allocated cap based on population Size Largest declines expected in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec – top destinations for international students
- Cap intends to stabilize unsustainable growth to “maintain a sustainable level of admissions”
“Rapid increases in the number of international students arriving in Canada also puts pressure on health care and other services.” – Minister Miller
Eligibility Criteria Changes
Several changes have been made to study permit eligibility, targeting program integrity issues:
- As of September 2024, graduates of licensing programs will lose post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility
- Aims to improve oversight of lower-quality programs
- Extended PGWP eligibility for master’s and other short graduate programs (3 years)
- Loss of PGWP access for students at private institutions in public-private partnerships
- Spouses of international students will have limited open work permit access
“The goal of the new measures…is to enhance Canada’s International Student Program integrity.” – Immigration lawyer
Application Process Updates
Major application process changes include:
- Enhanced verification of acceptance letters to prevent fraud
- Provinces must provide “attestation letters” for all applicants confirming acceptance details
- Financial proof threshold raised to $20,635 for 2024, up from $10,000
These measures intend to “better protect international students from bad actors” according to Minister Miller.
Reduced Access, But Renewals Unaffected
While access is being reduced upfront, renewals remain unchanged:
- Renewals for existing permit holders continue unaffected
- Exemptions for master’s, PhD, and continuing students from caps
Impact on International Students
The changes have received mixed reactions from international students:
- Concerns about reduced opportunities and post-graduation plans
- Fears that fewer services and rising costs may result
- But optimism about improved oversight and more sustainable growth
International student Maryam noted: “While worrying, quality should be the priority over quantity of admissions if students are to succeed.”
Comparison With Previous Years
Canada’s international student numbers have risen rapidly in recent years:
- 2021: 621,000 study permit holders
- 2022: 807,000 permit holders, up nearly 31%
- 2023: Projected 900,000 permit holders
The new 2-year cap aims to strategically moderate this growth after years of rapid increases. In summary, Canada has implemented a wide-ranging set of changes to its International Student Program for 2024 and 2025 to stabilize growth, strengthen oversight, and support sustainable admissions.
With a new 2-year cap of 360,000 permits, updated eligibility criteria, enhanced application processes, and mixed student reactions, the impact of these changes will become clearer as the year unfolds.
Canada Caps International Student Permits to Protect Program Integrity : This article discusses the Canadian government’s decision to cap the number of new study permits issued to international students in 2024 and 2025 at approximately 360,000. The article also highlights the key changes announced, including restrictions on permits for students in private “licensing” programs, shorter post-graduation work permits for some programs, and fewer open work permits for spouses of international students.
Canada announces two-year cap on new study permits : This article provides details on Canada’s decision to establish a cap on the number of new study permits issued to international students. The cap will be in effect for 2024 and 2025 and is described as a temporary measure. The article also notes that Canadian immigration officials anticipate that the cap will result in a 35% reduction in the number of new study permits issued in 2024 compared to 2023 levels.
Canada Announces Cap On International Student Admissions. What It Means : This article discusses the Canadian government’s announcement of a 35% reduction in international student admissions for 2024. The article notes that this translates to 360,000 approved study permits, compared to 2023 levels.
Federal government announces -year cap on student permits : This article provides details on the Canadian government’s announcement of a two-year cap on the number of new study permits issued to international students. The article notes that the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits in 2024, a decrease of 35% from 2023 levels.
Canada sets two-year cap on foreign students – BBC : This article discusses Canada’s decision to establish a cap on the number of new study permits issued to international students. The article notes that the cap will be in effect for 2024 and 2025 and is described as a temporary measure. The article also highlights that Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced the cap, saying that Canada aims to approve around 360,000 undergraduate study permits this year.