Jan 25, 2024

Ottawa announces major changes to international student visas


Cap on Study Permits

The federal government will cap undergraduate study permits at 360,000 for 2024, a 35% reduction from 2023. Provinces will receive a fixed number based on population share, aiming to manage unsustainable growth

Application Program Pause

The application program for foreign undergrads is temporarily halted. International students must now provide an attestation letter from a province or territory, with a deadline of March 31

Postgrad Work Permit Changes

Starting Sept. 1, certain private colleges won’t be eligible for postgrad work permits. However, graduates of short graduate-level programs can now apply for a three-year work permit

Spousal Work Permits Limited

Open work permits for spouses will only be available to those in master’s and PhD programs. Spouses of undergrad and college students are no longer eligible.

Government’s Aim

Ottawa hopes these measures will ease pressures on housing and healthcare services caused by the rapid influx of international students, addressing concerns in the housing market and ensuring program quality

Public Response

While economists welcome the cap, universities and colleges anticipate financial challenges. Critics fear potential consequences, including program closures and tuition fee increases.