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Impact of Canada’s International Student Cap on Prospective Students

Updated: Feb 13


Canada has recently announced a significant change in its immigration policy that directly impacts international students. In a bid to address the ongoing housing crisis and regulate the quality of education, the Canadian government has imposed a two-year cap on new international student permits. This decision is expected to reshape the landscape for prospective students from around the globe, particularly those from India, which is one of the top source countries for these students.


Understanding the New Cap

As part of this new policy, there will be a 35% reduction in new study visas in 2024, leading to about 364,000 new approved permits, a significant drop from the nearly 560,000 visas issued last year​​. The cap will be reassessed at the end of 2024 to determine the number of permits for 2025.


Reasons Behind the Cap

The surge in international students in recent years has led to an acute shortage in rental apartments, driving up rents nationwide. This issue has become a political concern, affecting the popularity of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration and prompting this decisive action from the government​​.


Implications for Prospective Students


Educational Opportunities

The cap is likely to create a more competitive environment for securing study permits in Canada. Prospective students may face tougher challenges in getting their applications approved, necessitating stronger academic and extracurricular profiles.


Housing and Living Costs

While the cap aims to alleviate the housing crisis, its immediate impact on rental markets remains to be seen. Prospective students should stay informed about the evolving housing situation and plan accordingly.


Work Permit Changes

The new policy also introduces changes to post-graduation work permits. This includes a restriction on work permits for spouses of international students and specific limitations for students from private institutions​​. These changes will affect students’ post-study work opportunities and plans for permanent residency.


Responses and Criticisms

Various stakeholders, including universities, student groups, and political leaders, have expressed mixed reactions to the cap. While some institutions support the decision, others fear it may negatively impact Canada’s reputation as a welcoming destination for international education​​.


Conclusion

The imposition of this cap marks a significant shift in Canada's approach to managing international student admissions. Prospective students must now navigate these changes carefully, staying abreast of new developments and considering alternative pathways or destinations for their higher education.


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