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### Canada’s Limit on International Students: Impact on Indian Students

Canada stands out as a favored choice for Indian students pursuing education abroad, with a notable preference from Punjab. The influx of Indian students to this North American nation has been steadily increasing. However, a recent development reveals Canada’s decision to impose a cap on student visa issuance over the upcoming two years.

The primary objective behind this initiative, as articulated by Immigration Minister Marc, is to tackle the housing challenges triggered by the growing population of international students and to address concerns related to certain educational institutions. The federal government is targeting a significant reduction in the approval of undergraduate study permits, aiming for 360,000 permits in 2024 compared to the previous year’s 900,000, reflecting a 35% decrease.

The implementation of this cap involves a strategic distribution of visas among provinces and territories based on population size. Each region has the autonomy to allocate these permits to universities and colleges within their jurisdiction. Additionally, international students seeking permits will now be required to furnish an attestation letter from the respective province or territory. This policy, effective for two years, will undergo a review of visa numbers in 2025.

Furthermore, the restrictions extend to post-graduate work permits for foreign students, potentially encouraging them to return to their home countries post their studies. Notably, individuals pursuing master’s or post-doctorate programs remain eligible for a three-year work permit.

The recent measures also impact the eligibility criteria for post-graduation work permits, particularly affecting students engaged in curriculum licensing arrangements. While the cap is temporary and exempting master’s and doctoral degree pursuits, spouses of students enrolled in these advanced programs will also qualify for open work permits.

The decision to impose a cap stems from the surge in international students leading to housing shortages and concerns about the quality of education provided by some institutions. This move is poised to impact educational institutions financially and may result in a shortage of temporary workers in various sectors.

Indian students, constituting a significant portion of international students in Canada, are likely to be significantly affected by these changes. The decision has raised concerns about private institutions exploiting international students by offering substandard resources, inadequate support, and escalating tuition fees while ramping up international student intake.

In response, student advocacy groups have criticized the cap, emphasizing the need for enhanced support and housing facilities for international students. The repercussions of these policy changes are expected to resonate across various sectors, including education, labor, and the economy.


  • CBC News
  • NDTV
  • Reuters
  • Mint
  • With inputs from Reuters and ANI