International students play a crucial role in enhancing Canada's social, cultural, and economic landscape

People walk on the grounds of the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 9, 2020. Picture taken September 9, 2020. —Reuters

Canada has announced a substantial reduction in the issuance of international student permits, aiming to address the housing crisis and resource distribution challenges. 

According to the press release by the Canadian government, with the number of international students reaching approximately 360,000, the government seeks to stabilise overall growth while preserving the integrity of the education system and essential services.

International students play a crucial role in enhancing Canada's social, cultural, and economic landscape. However, concerns have arisen due to universities aggressively increasing admissions to boost income, leading to students entering the country without adequate resources. This influx has strained housing, healthcare, and other services.

To address these issues, March Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, revealed the implementation of a two-year cap on international student permit applications. 

The cap is expected to result in a 35% reduction, issuing around 360,000 permits in 2024. Provinces with unsustainable increases in the foreign student population will experience larger reductions under a fairness-driven, population-based cap.

Notably, the cap excludes renewals of study permits and does not affect those pursuing master's and doctorate degrees, along with students in elementary and secondary education. 

Current research permit holders remain unaffected. The government plans to reassess the number of new study permit applications approved in 2025 after the two-year temporary measure concludes, emphasising the need for sustainable population growth and safeguarding international students from potential challenges.

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