Welcome to Relydence


RelydenceImmigration Only 292,000 International Study Permits to be approved in 2024

Only 292,000 International Study Permits to be approved in 2024

The landscape of international education in Canada is facing significant changes due to a new cap on international study permits announced by the federal government. On January 22, 2024, Minister Miller announced a targeted reduction in the number of new permits to 360,000 for the year, which is a 35-percent decrease from 2023. This decision has resulted in considerable uncertainty among provinces and educational institutions. The cap, aimed at mitigating burdens on housing and healthcare systems and curtailing the exploitation of the system, is set to dramatically reshape the financial and operational frameworks of many Canadian colleges and universities.


This cap is part of a broader effort to address “unsustainable growth” in the international student program and to enhance its integrity. However, it is essential to note that the Minister’s authority extends only to the number of applications processed, not the actual permits approved. The anticipated 360,000 approved study permits for 2024 were derived from an application cap of 606,000, considering historical approval rates of about 60 percent.


The latest clarifications have adjusted these figures, with the actual number of new permits available for college and university undergraduate programs now set at approximately 292,000. This adjustment accounts for categories exempted from the cap, such as graduate students and those in primary and secondary education. This recalibrated cap reflects a combined effort by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to refine the system’s focus and distribution of resources.


The financial impact of this policy shift are profound; International students contribute significantly to the financial health of Canada’s postsecondary institutions, with university undergraduates paying an average of $38,000 in tuition fees. The reduction in study permits is expected to result in substantial revenue losses to postsecondary institutions, prompting a reassessment of financial strategies across all sectors.


The allocation of permits has been controversial, with some provinces expressing discontent toward their share. Alberta, for instance, highlighted a discrepancy between its population share and its allocation of applications. British Columbia and Alberta have begun issuing Provincial Attestation Letters (PALs), which are critical under the new system for processing study permit applications. These letters, required alongside a letter of acceptance (LOA), are essential for international students seeking to study in Canada.


The new cap has necessitated a reevaluation of permit allocations across provinces, with the federal government considering factors such as historical international student levels. This approach has led to varied impacts across the country, with some provinces positioned to experience growth in their international student populations and others prospecting declines.


Provinces are now undertaking the complex responsibility of distributing a limited number of PALs among their educational institutions. This distribution will influence the landscape of international education in Canada, affecting public and private institutions differently. For example, the government of British Columbia has announced that it will prioritize public universities and colleges in the allocation of attestation letters.

error: Content is protected.