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Canada Reduces Foreign Student Permits by 35% in Effort to Reduce Soaring Numbers

Source: visa guide, 28/01/2024

• The Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced restrictive measures to reduce the increasing number of international students, which include capping the number of study permits issued annually.
• The government aims to bring down the number of study permits approved to 360,000, marking a significant 35% decrease from 2023.
• The new caps on approved study permits will be effective for two years, starting January 2024, with an assessment being scheduled for 2025.
In response to concerns about the surge in international student numbers, the Canadian government, led by Minister Marc Miller, has announced caps on the number of approved study permits, which will be effective for two years, entering force as of January 2024.
According to a press release by the authority, the new measure is expected to bring the number of study permits approved to 360,000 �` 35 per cent less than in 2023. Provinces will have caps based on their populations, excluding renewals and certain educational pursuits, VisaGuide.World reports.
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.
Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Starting January 22, 2024, all study permit applications to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) must include an attestation letter from the relevant province or territory. Provinces are expected to have a process for issuing these letters by March 31, 2024.
The government will work with provinces, territories, and educational institutions to create a sustainable plan for international students. This involves finalizing a recognized institution framework, determining long-term student levels, and ensuring adequate and sufficient housing in post-secondary institutions.
On the other, changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program will enter into force from September 1, 2024. This means that international students in curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer be eligible for post-graduation work permits.
Meanwhile, graduates of short graduate-level programs will now be eligible for a three-year work permit, and open work permits will be exclusive to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs.
Indian students, who represent the largest number of international students in Canada, will be most affected by the measure. In 2023, they accounted for 215,190 out of the 579,075 permits issued or 37 percent of the total.
In the previous year, they represented 41 per cent of all of those who obtained Canada study permits, compromising 225,835 out of 548,785 study permits. The numbers have soared over the past five years when the number of Indians obtaining study permits was less than half the actual numbers �` around 107,070 in 2018.

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