Canada Implements Temporary Cap on International Study Permits: Newsteps Immigration Update
In a significant move to enhance the integrity of its student visa program, Canada has unveiled a comprehensive set of measures, including a temporary two-year cap on the issuance of new study permits for international students. This announcement, made by Immigration Minister Marc Miller in Montréal, reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring a high-quality education experience for international students and addressing concerns related to certain private institutions exploiting the system.
Cap on Study Permits: A Two-Year Temporary Measure
Starting in 2024 and extending through 2025, the Canadian government will enforce a cap on the number of new study permits issued to international students. Officials anticipate that this temporary measure will result in a substantial 35% reduction in new study permits for 2024 compared to the levels recorded in 2023.
Minister Miller emphasized that these measures are crucial to guarantee that incoming international students receive the promised educational resources and support. The move is seen as a proactive step to curb the operations of private institutions that may be operating under-resourced campuses, lacking adequate student support, and charging exorbitant tuition fees.
The cap allocation will be province-based, taking into account population sizes. This means that some provinces may experience significant reductions, potentially exceeding 50%, while others may have the opportunity for growth. In a bid for fairness, the government is also introducing the requirement for applicants to provide a provincial attestation with their study permit application, effective immediately. Provinces and territories are expected to establish processes for issuing attestation letters to students by March 31, 2024.
Exemptions and Considerations
To maintain fairness and accommodate specific circumstances, certain exemptions to the cap have been outlined. The cap will not apply to graduate-level programs, including master’s or doctoral studies. Similarly, study permit applications at the elementary and secondary school levels will be exempt, ensuring the continuity of education for younger international students.
Importantly, the cap will not hinder applicants within Canada looking to extend their studies, preserving the educational journey for those already in the country. The two-year cap will be subject to reassessment at the end of 2024, with the government committed to working collaboratively with provinces, territories, and educational stakeholders to develop a sustainable path forward for international students.
Changes to Post-Graduate Work Permits
In addition to the cap on study permits, Minister Miller announced changes to post-graduate work permits, effective September 1, 2024. Notably, students enrolled in programs delivered via public-private partnerships will no longer be eligible for post-graduate work permits. This decision is particularly impactful in provinces like Ontario, where international enrollment through such partnerships has surged in recent years.
To further align work eligibility with academic pursuits, the government will restrict open work permits available to spouses of international students. Open work permits will now be limited to spouses of students enrolled in master’s, doctoral, and professional programs such as medicine and law. Spouses of students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible for work permits.
Expanding Opportunities for Graduate Students
In a positive move for graduate students, the government announced plans to expand post-study work rights. Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a three-year work permit. This adjustment is designed to provide these graduates with more time to gain valuable work experience, facilitating a potential transition to permanent residence.
Looking Ahead: Newsteps Immigration to Provide Updates
As these transformative measures take effect, Newsteps Immigration is committed to providing timely updates on this crucial story. Stay tuned for in-depth coverage of the evolving landscape of Canada’s immigration policies, as the government continues to prioritize the quality of education and integrity of its international student programs.
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