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IRCC Plans 2-Year Cap on Canadian Study Permits

Updated: May 15

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced their plans to reduce the number of international students receiving Canadian study permits over the next 2 years.

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IRCC Plans 2-Year Cap on Canadian Study Permits

The past few years have seen a significant increase in international students choosing Canada as their destination for higher education. According to data released by IRCC, over 800,000 study permits were issued in 2022, a number that has been consistently rising since 2015. 

This decision has led to uncertainty and concern among prospective international students who have set their sights on studying in Canada. As an immigration consulting firm specializing in study permit processing and applications, Chitra & Associates understands the impact of this news on students and their families. In this article, we will discuss IRCC's plans and how Chitra & Associates can assist you with your study permit application process.

Understanding IRCC's Plans

IRCC has stated that the reduction in study permits is part of their efforts to manage the intake of international students better and ensure that Canada's immigration system remains sustainable. It aims to stabilize growth and decrease the number of new international student permits issued to approximately 360,000 for 2024. This represents a significant reduction of 35% from the numbers seen in 2023. The measures are part of a broader strategy to make Canada's International Student Program more sustainable.

The Honourable Mac Miller, the Immigration Minister, has shed more light on the matter. According to him, the IRCC is fully prepared to take necessary actions, which includes the limitation of permit after the semester of September 2024. This action represents a strategic move aimed at ensuring that Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) provide their utmost support for international students. The IRCC's goal is simple - to ensure that every international student receives the top-tier education they deserve as a fundamental part of their academic journey in Canada.

New Allotment System for Study Permits

Under the proposed plan, provinces would be provided an allotment from the IRCC for study permits. This means that each province will have a set number of study permits it can issue, and students going forward will have to obtain an attestation from the province before they apply for the study permits.

Exemptions for Masters and PhD Students

Interestingly, the IRCC has indicated that masters and PhD students will be exempt from the 2-year cap in each province, reflecting the importance of these highly skilled individuals to Canada's economy and research ecosystem.

Changes to Post-Graduate Work Permit Eligibility

Curriculum Licensing Agreement

Starting from September 1, 2024, international students who begin a study program that falls under a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post-graduate work permit upon graduation. In these arrangements, students physically attend a private college that has been licensed to deliver the curriculum of an associated public college. 

These programs have seen substantial growth in attracting international students in recent years. 

Master’s and Graduate-Level Programs

In a significant shift, graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit. Under the current criteria, the length of a post-graduate work permit is based solely on the length of an individual's study program. This approach has been limiting master's graduates by restricting the amount of time they have to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residence especially when the duration of their Master’s program is less than 2 years.

Open Work Permits for Spouses

Another major change concerns the availability of open work permits for spouses of international students. In the coming weeks, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. The spouses of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible.

How Chitra & Associates Can Help

At Chitra & Associates, we have a team of experienced immigration consultants who specialize in study permit processing and applications. Our team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) stays updated on any changes or updates made by IRCC, ensuring that our clients receive accurate and reliable information.

With our knowledge and expertise, we can guide you through the study permit application process and help increase your chances of a successful outcome.

We understand that applying for a study permit can be overwhelming and stressful, especially with the recent news from IRCC. That's why we offer personalized consultation services to each of our clients, providing them with expert guidance on completing their application. 

In Conclusion

As the landscape of international student study permits in Canada continues to evolve, Chitra & Associates remains dedicated to supporting students during these uncertain times. We understand the complexities and challenges involved in applying for a study permit, and our team is here to simplify the process for you. While changes in immigration policies can be daunting, remember that with the right assistance and guidance, your dreams of studying in Canada can still be a reality. 

Stay calm, stay informed, and reach out to us for professional consultation and support on your study permit application. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your study permit application.  

A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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