Canada To Limit International Students After Drop In Applications – Better Dwelling

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Canadian policymakers have done a 180 when it comes to its open door policy for international students. The Government of Canada (GoC) announced a two year cap on study permits will be implemented soon. In addition, work permits will also become more difficult to obtain. The move comes after increased  international scrutiny of the country’s study programs, which had already begun to slow applications. 

Canada To Implement Study Permit Cap

Canada previously had no limits on international study permits, but that’s about to change. The minister announced a 35% reduction on new visas by this September. This is to “… maintain a sustainable level of temporary residents in Canada…,” said MP Marc Miller, minister of immigration. 


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Miller estimates this will result in 364,000 study permits in 2024, a decline of 35% from last year. Provinces like Ontario will see an even sharper drop, estimating a decline of 50% or more.  

Students To Encounter More Hurdles Obtaining Canadian Work Permits

Canada also announced they’ll change the circumstances in which new visas will be issued. Private schools working with public institutions will no longer be able to access postgraduate work permits as of September 1. No numbers were available on the scale of impact from this move. 

In addition, open work permits for spouses of students will be limited to certain programs. Only master, doctoral, and professional programs such as medicine and law will qualify. Previously, the spouse of any full-time student at a public post-secondary institution and certain private institution qualified. 

Canada has been threatening various measures to restrict study permits over the past few months. International criticism surfaced as more students were subject to scams, and images of students living in squalid conditions spread across social media—such as living in tents. Prospective students are even demonstrating some hesitation, with high flying application growth falling 20% in September.  

The most recent measures will be the most restrictive, but not the first limits attempted. Just a few weeks ago, the immigration minister also implemented higher minimum income limits. Whether Canada sticks to its limits is another story, since it has a history of quietly easing these types of policies just days after a noisey announcement.

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