Big news about Canada’s international student Policy: “Severely cutting” Student Permit 35%

Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced on January 22, 2024, that the number of international student visas will be significantly reduced in the next two years to alleviate the pressure on Canada’s housing and medical care. In 2022, there will be more than 800,000 foreign students in Canada, compared with 214,000 ten years ago. Canadian officials said that the new measures are to ensure the “completeness” of the system. After announcing this development, the Immigration Department said that this year’s goal is to approve about 360,000 undergraduate study permits, which means that the approved Study Permits will be reduced by 35% compared to the previous year.

Provinces and territories will decide how to allocate these licenses among their universities and colleges based on population size and current student numbers. This restriction only applies to students studying diploma or undergraduate courses and will not affect students who are applying for an extended study permit. As part of the reform, starting in September, the Canadian government will no longer issue post-graduation work permits to college graduates operating under the public-private partnership model, which is most common in Ontario.

The average house price in Canada is currently $750,000, and rents have increased by 22% in the past two years. Some economists say housing prices are related to the impact of a surge in immigration and that housing construction has not kept pace with Canada’s current population growth. In 2022, Canada’s population increased by more than 1 million in one year for the first time in history, with this growth driven primarily by new immigrants. In 2023, Canada’s population reached a record high of 40 million. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates that Canada will need an additional 3.5 million housing units by 2030 to restore affordability.

The terms released this time include the following 8 key points:

  1. The total number of Study Permits in 2024 will be reduced by 35%, leaving about 360,000 approved.
  1. Starting from September 2024, post-graduation work permits( PGWP ) will no longer be issued to university graduates under the public-private partnership model.
  1. Each province/region will formulate the upper limit of study permits based on population.
  1. When submitting your study permit application, you must attach an Attestation Letter. 
  1. The extension of study permits for international students already in Canada will not be affected.
  1. Student permits for masters PhD junior high and elementary students will not be affected.
  1. International students with master’s and PhD degrees still have spouse’s work permit.
  1. International master’s students with less than 2 years can apply for a 3-year work permit after graduation.