Canada announces cap on Study Visa for International Students

Canada announces cap on Study Visa for International Students

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 23 Jan, 2024 | 04:14 AM]
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a temporary cap on the number of international students who will be issued a Canada Study Visa.

“International students are vital to Canada and enrich our communities. As such, we have an obligation to ensure that they have access to the resources they need for an enriching academic experience. In Canada, today, this isn’t always the case. 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.”

- The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of IRCC

A report from IRCC shows that for 2024, the cap is expected to be around 360,000 approved Study Visas - a decrease of 35% from 2023. IRCC will further introduce caps for each province and territory. The cap set by IRCC will be defined by weighing the population, resulting in a significant decrease in provinces where the international student population has seen - the most unsustainable growth.

The cap will not impact current Study Visa holders or renewals in any way.

Canada Study Visa in 7 Days

IRCC also says that every Study Visa submitted on or after 22 January 2024 will require an attestation letter from a province or territory (PT). PTs will establish a new process for issuing these attestation letters, no later than 31 March 2024. 

Changes to eligibility for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

IRCC has also announced changes to the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Starting September 2024, international students enrolled in a study program that is part of the curriculum licensing arrangement - will not be eligible to apply for a PGWP. Under curriculum licensing arrangements, students physically attend a private college which has been authorized to teach the curriculum of an associated public college. Although these programs have attracted a lot of students in recent years, they have less oversight as compared to public colleges.

On the other hand, international students who have graduated from Master’s programs or any Short-Graduate Level programs will still be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit. According to the current criteria, the length of a PGWP is usually based on the length of the study program. This shortens the amount of time and Master’s students are limited from gaining Canadian work experience and eventually transitioning to Canadian permanent residency.

Open Work Permits for Spouses of International Students

In the coming weeks, IRCC will also release details regarding Open Work Permits for Spouses of international students. IRCC says that Open Work Permits will only be open to spouses of international students in Master’s and Doctoral programs. Spouses of international students in other levels of study including Undergraduate and College programs - will no longer be eligible.

These measures announced by IRCC complement other recently announced reforms to the International Student Program (ISP). Collectively, these measures aim to make sure that genuine international students receive the support and resources they need, for an enriching study experience in Canada. At the same time, stabilizing the overall number of international students arriving and lightening pressures on housing, health care and other services in Canada.

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Applying for a Canada Study Visa in 2024

Canada admitted over 800,000 new students in 2022, and the numbers were projected to rise to over 900,000 in 2023. IRCC stated that the immigration system is “out of control” and that the 2-year cap has been introduced to get things sorted.

The Canada Study Visa application process has gotten trickier than it used to be as the Great White North has grown to be a more competitive study destination. However, IRCC recognizes the important social, cultural, and economic benefits that international students from around the world bring to Canada.

In the coming months, IRCC will aim to provide a clear pathway for international students to apply for a study visa. We can expect targeted pilots aimed at helping a high number of international students pursue their studies in Canada

Read More: Revised cost-of-living requirements for Canada Study Visa

Source: canada.ca



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