The Canadian immigration landscape for international students is undergoing significant changes in 2024. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a temporary cap on the number of international students issued study permits, with an expected decrease of 35% in approved study permits compared to 2023. This cap, weighted by population, aims to address unsustainable growth in certain provinces and territories without impacting current study permit holders or those pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees.
Study Permit Application Changes
As of January 22, 2024, every study permit application submitted to IRCC will require an attestation letter from a province or territory, with a deadline for establishing the process set for March 31, 2024. IRCC will reassess the cap in 2025 to evaluate its impact.
Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility Criteria Changes
IRCC has also announced changes to the eligibility criteria for the PGWP. Starting September 2024, international students starting a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for the PGWP. Additionally, graduates from master’s programs or other short graduate-level programs will be able to apply for a 3-year work permit, addressing the limitations posed by the current criteria based on the length of the study program.
Impact on International Students’ Spouses
IRCC will release more details regarding open work permits for the spouses of international students in the upcoming weeks, specifying that open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. Spouses of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible.
Addressing Challenges and System Integrity
The changes come in response to growing pressure on IRCC to address the increasing volume of international students in Canada. Immigration Minister Marc Miller has stated that the influx of students poses challenges to the system’s integrity, with concerns about institutions increasing intakes for revenue and students arriving without adequate support.
The Canadian government’s measures aim to ensure a balanced and sustainable approach to international student immigration, addressing concerns about system integrity, student support, and the impact of rapid increases in international student arrivals on various services. For personalized assistance with Canadian immigration and to learn more about overcoming medical inadmissibility, individuals can contact Novus Immigration Services. Licensed as the Regulated Canadian Immigration Law and Consultant Firm by the Bar Council of British Columbia, Canada. Discover more about Canadian Experience Class, Express Entry, PNP, Permanent Residence, and the document checklist.