Canada Trims Student Permits, Changes Work Permit Criteria
The Canadian government has declared a reduction in international student permits, potentially impacting students worldwide. In a press release on Monday, the immigration minister announced a two-year cap on international student permit applications, projecting a 35% decrease to approximately 360,000 permits in 2024.
To ensure fairness, provincial and territorial caps, weighted by population, will lead to more substantial reductions in provinces experiencing unsustainable international student growth. The cap excludes study permit renewals, current holders, master’s and doctoral candidates, and elementary and secondary education pursuits.
Citing threats to the international student system’s integrity, the government noted revenue-driven intake spikes by some institutions. The influx strained housing, healthcare, and services, prompting measures to safeguard students and stabilize growth.
Reforms by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada involve allocating cap portions to provinces, requiring attestation letters from them for study permit applications starting January 22, 2024. Provinces must establish attestation processes by March 31, 2024.
Temporary measures will endure for two years, with a 2025 reassessment of new study permit applications. Post-Graduation Work Permit Program changes include the ineligibility of students in curriculum licensing arrangements and offering master’s graduates a 3-year work permit starting September 1, 2024.
Further, open work permits will be restricted to spouses of master’s and doctoral students, excluding other study levels. The government aims to support genuine students, enrich their Canadian study experiences, stabilize overall student numbers, and alleviate pressures on local services.
These changes reflect Canada’s effort to balance international student intake, ensuring the quality of education and support while addressing potential challenges posed by rapid growth.