In a recent announcement, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, unveiled crucial measures aimed at safeguarding the integrity of Canada’s international student system. The government is set to impose a cap on new international student permits for a two-year period, with a notable decrease of 35% in approved study permits for 2024.

Stabilizing International Student Growth:

  1. Cap Implementation: The government will enforce a cap on international student permit applications, restricting the number to approximately 360,000 for 2024—a strategic move to address recent threats to the system’s integrity.
  2. Provincial Quotas: Each province will have a designated quota based on accommodation and housing capacity, ensuring a fair and balanced distribution of international student admissions.
  3. Institutional Distribution: Provinces will then allocate the approved number of admissions among various institutions, mitigating pressures on housing, healthcare, and other essential services.
  4. Attestation Requirement: Starting January 22, 2024, every study permit application must include an attestation letter from a province or territory, confirming their capacity to accommodate the proposed student.
  5. Implementation Deadline: Provinces are mandated to establish a mechanism for issuing attestation letters by March 31, 2024, ensuring a smooth transition to the new regulations.
    new rules and regulations for 2024 intake

Impact on Post-Graduation Work Permit Program:

  1. Eligibility Criteria Change: Starting September 1, 2024, international students in curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, addressing concerns about oversight and eligibility loopholes.
  2. Extended Work Permit for Graduates: Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit, providing increased opportunities for gaining work experience and transitioning to permanent residence.
  3. Spousal Open Work Permits: Open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs, aligning with efforts to better balance support for genuine students.
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Additional Reforms and Future Initiatives:

  1. Clear Pathways to Permanent Residence: Ongoing efforts to provide clear pathways to permanent residence for students with in-demand skills and exploration of new measures to transition international students to the labor force.
  2. Recent Measures: Highlighting recent measures, such as the updated cost-of-living requirement and enhanced verification processes for acceptance letters, aimed at protecting students and preventing fraud.
  3. Future Pilots: Introducing targeted pilots in 2024 to support underrepresented cohorts of international students pursuing their studies in Canada.

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At Last with these decisive measures, Canada is striking a balance between supporting international students and ensuring the integrity of its immigration system. The temporary regulations will be in place for two years, with a reassessment planned for 2025, providing a foundation for sustainable growth and enhanced support for genuine students.

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