The Canadian government, led by Immigration Minister Marc Miller, has implemented a national cap on international student intake, aiming to reduce it by 35% over the next two years. Miller stated that these measures are temporary and will be in place for two years to maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada. The national application intake cap for 2024 is expected to result in approximately 364,000 approved study permits, a 35% decrease from 2023.
The cap will not apply to graduate-level students, including master's and doctoral students, and those seeking study permit applications at elementary and secondary school levels. Each province will have different caps based on population and will be applied differently, with provinces experiencing unsustainable growth in student intake facing more significant reductions.
Additionally, changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program were announced, with postgraduate work permits no longer available to public-private institution models starting September 1. Open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students enrolled in master's, doctoral, and professional programs.
These measures follow recent curbs that doubled the amount of money international students need to prove they have for a study permit, with the new amount set at $20,635 in addition to tuition. Existing international students and applicants as of December 7, 2023, can work off-campus more than 20 hours per week until April 2024.
The government aims to address challenges related to the rapid growth in student intake, emphasizing the need for long-term immigration strategies for the country's growth.