Canada Introduces Cap on International Student Intake

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, announced a national cap on the admission of international students during a speech at the Liberal cabinet retreat on Monday.

Alongside various other restrictions, Miller outlined measures aimed at reducing the intake of international students by 35% over the next two years.

Canada Introduces Cap on International Student Intake
Canada Introduces Cap on International Student Intake

The cap will be implemented provincially on a per capita basis, aligning with the population of each province. Miller emphasized the goal of maintaining a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada and preventing further growth in the number of international students for the year 2024.

“To achieve this, we are setting a national application intake cap for two years, with an expected approval of approximately 364,000 study permits—a 35% decrease from 2023,” Miller stated.

He clarified that the cap would vary by province, demonstrating a commitment to fairness by allocating cap space based on population size. Some provinces will experience more significant reductions, reflecting the diverse impact across regions.

Miller assured that the cap would not affect graduate-level studies, including master’s and doctoral programs. Additionally, students seeking study permits for elementary and secondary school levels will be exempt from the cap.

The announcement also included restrictions on work permits for spouses of international students. Starting from September 1, postgraduate work permits will no longer be available for public-private institution models.

In the coming weeks, open work permits will be restricted to spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs, as well as professional programs such as medicine and law.

Spouses of international students at other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible for open work permits.

Miller concluded by mentioning productive discussions with the governments of Ontario and British Columbia, signalling collaborative efforts in implementing these measures.



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