Canada Announces Two-Year Cap on Post-Graduate Work Permit for International Students

[Photo Credit: Immigration Canada]


Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, on Monday announced the measures the Canadian government will put in place in efforts to cap the number of international students in the country.

In a press conference on Monday, the Minister said there is a two-year cap on new study permits for international students, students at public-private partnerships are removed from the post-graduate work permit and work rights for student dependents have been restricted.

The two-year cap on new study permits was introduced to improve integrity, set international students up for success and maintain a sustainable level of temporary residents in Canada, said the Minister. “The government is moving forward with measures to stabilize the number of international students in Canada”, said the press statement.

According to the Miller, some institutions have considerably raised their intakes to boost revenue, and more students are arriving in the country without the necessary support to succeed. He said that the situation was putting a strain on housing, health care and other services in Canada.

The statement read in part, “for 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023. In the spirit of fairness, individual provincial and territorial caps have been established, weighted by population, which will result in much more significant decreases in provinces where the international student population has seen the most unsustainable growth.”

“Study permit renewal will not be impacted. Those pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, and elementary and secondary education are not included in the cap. Current study permit holders will not be affected.”

Each province will be issued with a cap of study permits that they can issue based on population, and provincial government will be responsible for allocating permits among their Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs).

“To implement the cap, as of January 22, 2024, every study permit application submitted to IRCC will also require an attestation letter from a province or territory. The process is expected to start no later than March 31, 2024.”

“These temporary measures will be in place for two years, and the number of new study permit applications that will be accepted in 2025 will be re-assessed at the end of this year.”

Canada will also be changing the eligibility criteria for Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. The statement stated that “starting September 1, 2024, international students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit upon graduation.”

However, Master’s students may soon be able to apply for a 3-year post-graduate work permit from September. “Under the current criteria, the length of a post-graduate work permit is based solely on the length of an individual’s study program, hindering master’s graduates by limiting the amount of time they have to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residence.”

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