IRCC announces 2-year cap on new Study Visa applications

By Scarlett Wilson [Published 23 Jan, 2024 | 05:18 AM] 1525
IRCC announces 2-year cap on new Study Visa applications

On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a temporary cap of 2 years, on the number of international students who will be issued a Canada Study Visa.

A recent report from IRCC shows that for 2024, the cap is expected to be around 360,000 approved Study Visas - a decrease of 35% from 2023. The cap will not impact current Study Visa holders or renewals in any way.

Quick Facts

  • In recent years, the integrity of the international student system has been threatened. Certain institutions in Canada have increased their intakes to drive revenues - and more and more students are arriving in Canada without the proper support they need to succeed. This also puts pressure on housing, health care and other services.
  • For 2024, Canada will only invite a maximum of 360,000 international students to apply for a Study Visa. This is a decrease of 35% from 2023. The cap will not impact current Study Visa holders or renewals in any way. Also, those pursuing Master’s and Doctoral degrees or Elementary and Secondary education are not included in the cap.
  • IRCC will also look to allocate a certain portion of the cap to each Canadian province and territory. Every Study Visa application submitted on or after 22 January 2024, will require an attestation letter from a province or territory. Provinces and territories with the allocation are expected to establish a process for issuing these letters by no later than 31 March 2024.

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  • Starting September 2024, international students enrolled in a study program that is part of the curriculum licensing arrangement will not be eligible to apply for a PGWP. Furthermore, Master’s and other Short-Level program graduates will now be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit. It was initially based on the length of the study program - which was not enough to gain the required work experience for transitioning to Canadian Permanent Residency.

Update: Initially planned to take effect on September 1, 2024, it has been rescheduled to May 15, 2024.

  • Lastly, in the weeks ahead, Open Work Permits will only be issued to spouses of international students enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral level study program. Spouses of international students in other levels of study, including Undergraduate and College programs - will not be eligible for an Open Work Permit.

A look ahead

These temporary measures will be in place for 2 years, and the number of Study Visa applications for 2025 will be re-assessed in December 2024. During this period, IRCC will continue to work with provinces and territories, Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), and national education stakeholders - to develop an effective and efficient pathway to apply for a Canada Study Visa.

We can also expect targeted pilots aimed at helping a high number of international students pursue their studies in Canada.

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Tags: Study Visas Canada Study Visa international students Open Work Permits Canada Study Visa in 2024 Canada Study Visa application process Canada Student Visa Study Visa Canada


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