Federal government announces two-year cap on international study permits


Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced today that the federal government will be imposing a temporary cap on international study visas, in an effort to “maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada.”

For this year, the cap is expected to result in approximately 364,000 approved permits, which is a 35 per cent decrease from 2023. The caps will be applied differently in different provinces, based on population numbers. While this means that some provinces will be able to increase the number of international students they take in, Ontario will have to cut intake by around 50 per cent. The cap for 2025 will be reassessed at the end of this year.

The government aims to grant visas in numbers which will be approximately equal to the number of expiring visas — meaning that Canada will have no net new international students arriving. The cap will also only apply to diploma and undergraduate programs, so master’s and doctorate students will not be affected.

Miller emphasized the role of institutions in combating housing crises across the country, saying “It’s unacceptable that some private institutions have taken advantage of international students by operating under-resourced campuses, lacking supports for students and charging high tuition fees, all while significantly increasing their intake of international students.”