Canada News: a two-year cap on International Student Visa

international student visa
Canadian Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller [ Watch Video Below]

At the federal cabinet retreat in Montreal, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Marc Miller, said he is announcing “three principle measures…”

These three measures on international student visa applications are to mitigate the high pressure on the Canadian housing system.

The records show that more than 800000 international students obtained student visas in 2022 alone. And in fall 2023, that number was three times more than the student visas issued ten years ago. 

According to Miller, the outcome of the three principal measures is to reduce the number of international students in Canada. “To ensure that there is no further growth in the number of international students in Canada in 2024…” 

The Canadian Immigration Office will only approve approximately 364000 study permits, reflecting a 35% reduction from the 2023 recorded numbers. 

Effective immediately as of 22 January 2024, applicants must provide a provincial attestation with their student visa applications.

“The cap will not apply to students of graduate levels of studies, including masters or doctoral students. Those are the students we are looking for” Miller said.

The three temporary measures by Marc Miller to curb international student growth in Canada

  1. “A temporary 2-year cap on new international student permits.”
  2. As of 1 September 2024, post-graduate work permits will no longer be available to the public-private institution models.
  3. Open work permits will only be allowed and be available to spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs as well as professional programs such as medicine and law.

The two-year cap is a National instrument. However, the measures are to be in conjunction with individual provinces, according to the population of each province in Canada. 

This means depending on the number of international students in a particular province, the number of student permits will experience a sharper decline than others.

For example, provinces with fewer populations, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, will tend to increase international student growth. On the other hand, high-population provinces like Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia may see a sharper decline of more than 50% of new incoming student immigrants. 

The Minister also emphasized the measures will ensure that international students receive the quality education they seek in Canada.

“International students are a valuable asset to this country. They are bright, young individuals that enrich our communities and bring significant social, cultural, and economic benefits. They deserve the best. They deserve world-class academic experiences that they sought out and hoped for. And Canada is renowned for that.”

However, “it will be a disservice to welcome international students in Canada,” he said. 

“And having them return home with the dissolution that they are disappointed in Canada’s educational system”.  

Miller says that some private institutions have taken advantage of international students by charging high tuition fees and operating underresourced campuses with improper student support systems. 

Another item that Miller had announced previously is increased financial requirements when applying for a study permit which took effect at the start of January 2024.

Precisely, the cost of living requirements for international students has now doubled. In addition to tuition fees and other monetary requirements for spouse or family dependants, international students must provide available funds of CAN$20,635 in 2024 to qualify for study permits. This amount was CAN$10,000 in previous years.

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