Canada To Limit International Students After Drop In Applications

Canadian policymakers have done a 180 when it comes to its open door policy for international students. The Government of Canada (GoC) announced a two year cap on study permits will be implemented soon. In addition, work permits will also become more difficult to obtain. The move comes after increased  international scrutiny of the country’s study programs, which had already begun to slow applications. 

Canada To Implement Study Permit Cap

Canada previously had no limits on international study permits, but that’s about to change. The minister announced a 35% reduction on new visas by this September. This is to “… maintain a sustainable level of temporary residents in Canada…,” said MP Marc Miller, minister of immigration. 

Miller estimates this will result in 364,000 study permits in 2024, a decline of 35% from last year. Provinces like Ontario will see an even sharper drop, estimating a decline of 50% or more.  

Students To Encounter More Hurdles Obtaining Canadian Work Permits

Canada also announced they’ll change the circumstances in which new visas will be issued. Private schools working with public institutions will no longer be able to access postgraduate work permits as of September 1. No numbers were available on the scale of impact from this move. 

In addition, open work permits for spouses of students will be limited to certain programs. Only master, doctoral, and professional programs such as medicine and law will qualify. Previously, the spouse of any full-time student at a public post-secondary institution and certain private institution qualified. 

Canada has been threatening various measures to restrict study permits over the past few months. International criticism surfaced as more students were subject to scams, and images of students living in squalid conditions spread across social media—such as living in tents. Prospective students are even demonstrating some hesitation, with high flying application growth falling 20% in September.  

The most recent measures will be the most restrictive, but not the first limits attempted. Just a few weeks ago, the immigration minister also implemented higher minimum income limits. Whether Canada sticks to its limits is another story, since it has a history of quietly easing these types of policies just days after a noisey announcement.



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  • Mark Bayly 4 months ago

    Immigration is out of control in Canada . Handing out citizenship like a prize in a cereal box Then all these people are eligible for potentially hundreds of thousands in government benefits It’s insanity

  • Ron Bruce 4 months ago

    MP Marc Miller, minister of immigration created the problem in the expectation that Canada had enough jobs to fill. Canada isn’t a low-cost manufacturer/producer of anything. We can’t all work for the Government or work at Tim Hortons.

  • Tim 4 months ago

    Question – If 35% off of a number is 364,000, doesn’t that mean the prior number was about 560,000 – and not over 1 million?

    So the actual reduction of international students seems to be about 200,000, right?

    1 million minus 200k equals 800k – which is still pretty high.

    Looks like the press statement of “35%” and “50%” reduction is meant to look like they’re doing more, but they only dramatically reduced a number within a small subsection of the 1 million total – imo

    • Ben 4 months ago

      Also, applications always drop every year in September because that’s when school is starting. Yet every article likes to emphasize that applications in September are low.

  • Immigrant Dude 4 months ago

    80% of all new housing supply is being bought by investors who are able to leverage below inflation rate mortgages but sure do target students, foreign buyers and immigrants for soaring home prices and rents. Nothing like some goof old fashioned immigrant baiting (wink wink)….

  • Chunky 4 months ago

    First of all the policies themselves are unclear and not meant for long-term sustainability. Secondly immigration has been more about numbers and not about the quality – be it students, international professionals or trades people its just about jacking up number to prop up the broken economy. Economy grows when there is more production, consumption, adequate savings, stable inflation and also ability to have capital for future growth and expansion. There are hardly any signs of growth except for the buying and selling of real estate so effectively they want more people to come in so they can spend, shop and grow the economy. This heated party will soon end badly and several people have packed up and left. Its better to get lower number of immigrants and gradually allow them to succeed and that will be more sustainable and municipalities too will have more breating space and infrastructure to handle the growth.

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