In light of the worsening housing crisis, Canada said on Monday that it would no longer be granting work permits to certain postgraduate students and would immediately impose a two-year cap on international student permits. This new visa rule aims to cap international student permits by over 35 percent in 2024, with some provinces seeing even steeper reductions.
According to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, the maximum will be set at about 364,000 study permits.
The statement coincided with the fact that, according to a Globe and Mail story from last year, there were more than a million foreign students in Canada with study visas.
"Some private institutions have taken advantage of international students by operating under-resourced campuses, lacking support for students, and charging high tuition fees, all while significantly increasing their intake of international students," Miller said in a statement to the media.
"Housing, healthcare, and other services are under pressure as a result of this rise. Less people would mostly aid in lowering rent costs", he told reporters, as cited by Reuters.
"We are prepared to take necessary measures, including limiting visas, ahead of the September 2024 semester," Mr. Miller said. He added that this guarantees that specified educational institutions offer sufficient support to students as a component of their academic journey. The students will now get the support and resources that they came to Canada for.
However, this is only a two-year temporary policy. Renewals or holders of valid study permits will not be impacted. Furthermore, students seeking master's and doctoral degrees are excluded.
What are the areas of the cap?
There will be substantially larger decreases in several provinces. While some provinces will be able to [expand] if they so desire, the most afflicted provinces will need to reduce their intake of new students by roughly 50%, or possibly even slightly more than 50%.
Applications for study permits must be submitted with a provincial attestation.
Additionally, neither current holders of study permits in Canada nor applicants wishing to continue their education within the country will be impacted by the cap.
Spouses of international students participating in master's or doctoral programs will henceforth be the only ones eligible for open work visas. Undergraduate and graduate students' spouses will no longer be qualified.
This mandate will take effect on January 22, 2024. Provinces must set up a system for providing the necessary attestation certificate by March 31st, 2024.