Canadian Immigration Consulting Inc

Group of students walking to campus.

Today, January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced significant modifications to the international student system, driven by the need to maintain the system’s integrity and manage the challenges arising from rapid increases in international student numbers. This surge has reportedly strained housing, healthcare, and other vital services in Canada. This Canada study permit cap has the following points:


      1. Study Permit Cap for 2024: The Government of Canada has decided to cap the number of new international student permit applications for a period of two years. For 2024, this cap is anticipated to allow approximately 360,000 study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023. This measure aims to stabilize new growth and will not affect current study permit holders or those renewing their permits. Moreover, students pursuing master’s, doctoral degrees, and elementary and secondary education are not included in this cap.

      1. Provincial and Territorial Allocation: IRCC will assign a portion of the cap to each province and territory based on their population, allowing them to distribute these allocations among their designated learning institutions. This approach addresses the uneven growth of international student populations across different regions.

      1. Attestation Letters Requirement: Starting January 22, 2024, every study permit application must include an attestation letter from the relevant province or territory. This new requirement aims to ensure that students receive adequate support and that institutions maintain high standards. Provinces and territories are expected to establish processes for issuing these letters by March 31, 2024.

      1. Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) Changes: The eligibility criteria for PGWP are being revised. Starting September 1, 2024, students enrolled in curriculum licensing arrangement programs will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit. Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit, irrespective of their program’s length.

      1. Spousal Work Permits: In the upcoming weeks, open work permits will be limited to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. Spouses of students in other levels of study will no longer qualify.

      1. Complementary Measures and Reforms: These new policies are part of a broader effort to protect and support international students, ensuring they have the resources needed for a successful academic experience. The measures also aim to alleviate pressures on Canadian services and maintain the overall stability of student numbers.

      1. Future Developments: The government plans to continue developing clear pathways to permanent residence for students with in-demand skills and to transition international students to the labor force. This includes targeted pilots in 2024 to help underrepresented international student groups.

      1. Other Recent Measures: Since December 1, 2023, post-secondary designated learning institutions are required to confirm every letter of acceptance with IRCC, enhancing the verification process to protect prospective students from fraud. Additionally, from January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants has been updated to better reflect the true cost of living in Canada.

    These changes reflect the Canadian government’s commitment to ensuring that international students contribute positively to Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric, while also maintaining the integrity and sustainability of its educational and immigration systems.

    To learn more about this Canada study permit cap and to stay up to date with  other announcements, join our mailing list, subscribe to the youtube channel and for questions, feel free to schedule a call with me.



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