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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

Canada limits international students admissions

Cap will see a decrease of 35% in approved study permits from 2023
A student walks in front of the University of Toronto, St. George campus, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 26, 2023. Reuters
A student walks in front of the University of Toronto, St. George campus, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 26, 2023. Reuters

Canada has announced its decision to limit the flow of international students as the North American country tries to grapple with the housing affordability crisis.

“For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023,” the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said in a statement on Monday.

The decision aims to stabilize growth, for two years.

The decision was expected as last week Immigration Minister Marc Miller hinted at capping the foreign student admissions. “I think the challenge with the non-permanent resident targets is that there are none,” he said in an interview with the CBC News. “We have to take a look at that and rein it in many areas, but we need to be clear about what that means, exactly.”

“Study permit renewals will not be impacted. Those pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, and elementary and secondary education are not included in the cap. Current study permit holders will not be affected.”

To implement the cap, the department said that every study permit application submitted to the IRCC would also require an attestation letter from a province or territory. They have a March 31, 2024 deadline to establish a process for issuing attestation letters to students.

The Justin Trudeau-led government has also changed the eligibility criteria to align with the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

“Starting September 1, 2024, international students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a postgraduation work permit upon graduation.”

Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs would soon be eligible to apply for a three-year work permit

Soon, open work permits would only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programmes. The spouses of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, would no longer be eligible.

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Under curriculum licensing agreements, students physically attend a private college that has been licensed to deliver the curriculum of an associated public college. Despite seeing significant growth in attracting international students, these programmes have less oversight than public colleges and they act as a loophole with regards to post-graduation work permit eligibility.

Under current criteria, the length of a post­graduation work permit is based solely on the length of an individual’s study programme, hindering master’s graduates by limiting the amount of time they have to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residence.

“The measures aim to ensure genuine students receive the support they require and have the resources they need for an enriching study experience in Canada, while at the same time stabilizing the overall number of students arriving and alleviating pressures on housing, health care and other services in Canada,” it said.

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