Canada aims to achieve growth stabilization and reduce the issuance of new international student permits to around 35% for the year 2024

“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. Today, we are announcing additional measures to protect a system that has become so lucrative that it has opened a path for its abuse. Enough is enough. 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.” – The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

International students play a vital role in enriching our communities and contributing to Canada's social, cultural, and economic landscape. However, the integrity of the international student system has been compromised in recent years. Some institutions have excessively increased their enrollments to boost revenues, leading to students arriving without adequate support. This surge in international student numbers strains housing, healthcare, and other services. To safeguard international students and ensure sustainable population growth, the Canadian government is implementing measures to stabilize their numbers.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Marc Miller, announced that Canada will impose a cap on new international student permits for a two-year period, aiming for approximately 360,000 approvals in 2024, a 35% decrease from 2023. Provincial and territorial caps, weighted by population, will result in significant reductions, particularly in regions experiencing unsustainable growth. Renewals and certain academic pursuits are exempt from this cap.

Each province and territory will receive a portion of the cap, which they will distribute to their designated learning institutions. Effective January 22, 2024, all study permit applications must include an attestation letter from the respective province or territory, with issuance procedures expected by March 31, 2024.

These measures, temporary for two years, will be reassessed in 2025. Collaborations with stakeholders aim to establish sustainable levels of international students, finalize institution frameworks, and ensure adequate student housing.

Changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program include discontinuing eligibility for students in curriculum licensing arrangements, extending work permit validity for master's graduates, and restricting open work permits for spouses to master's and doctoral programs.

These reforms complement recent initiatives and aim to support genuine students while stabilizing student numbers and alleviating pressures on Canadian services.

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