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Tag Archives: canada cap

June 28, 2024

New Rule Effective Immediately

Effective immediately, international students in Canada are no longer permitted to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) at a Canadian border crossing. This announcement was made by Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller on 21 June 2024.

Closing a Loophole

The new regulation aims to close a loophole where students have been bypassing processing times for PGWP applications filed within Canada by accessing same-day immigration services at border crossings. This practice, known as “flagpoling,” has been a common method for students to expedite their work permit applications.

Impact on Border Resources

According to a statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), flagpoling consumes significant resources at the border, diverting officers from their primary enforcement duties, causing delays for travelers, and slowing down the movement of goods. From 1 March 2023 to 29 February 2024, PGWP applicants accounted for about one-fifth of the foreign nationals attempting to flagpole.

Minister’s Statement

Minister Miller emphasized that while the contributions of international graduates to Canada’s labor market are valued, flagpoling is unnecessary. He stated, “The time and effort required to process applications from ‘flagpolers’ takes officers on both sides of the border away from their crucial role in protecting the safety, security, and prosperity of Canadians and Americans. This measure will help prevent this practice while maintaining the integrity of our immigration system.”

Study Permit Expiry and Work Permit Application

IRCC highlighted that in most cases, a study permit expires 90 days after the expected completion of an international student’s study program. Eligible students who apply online for a PGWP before their study permit expires can work full-time while waiting for approval on a work permit. They receive an automated letter to show employers, and the work permit is mailed directly to the student upon approval.

Reducing Same-Day Immigration Services

In conjunction with the ban on flagpoling for PGWP applicants, IRCC has reduced the availability of same-day immigration services at 12 ports of entry across Canada. This change aims to allow border services officers to efficiently process the large volume of travelers during peak periods and to focus on other key priorities, such as managing high-risk travelers and facilitating trade.

Enhancing the Online Application Process

To further support international graduates, IRCC is working to speed up processing times for PGWP applications filed within Canada. The online application process for foreign graduates is being simplified, and PGWP holders are allowed to start working for a new employer immediately, without waiting for a new PGWP application to be processed before making a job change.


The new rule banning PGWP applications at Canadian border crossings is designed to streamline immigration processes, reduce resource strain at borders, and maintain the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. International students are encouraged to apply online for their post-graduation work permits to ensure a smoother transition into the Canadian workforce.

April 15, 2024


In a significant move towards managing international student enrolment in Canada, Immigration Minister Marc Miller has unveiled the official national cap figures and targets for 2024. This development marks a strategic approach by the Canadian government to regulate the influx of international students while ensuring a balanced educational landscape across provinces and territories.

Understanding the Cap Allocation

The announcement includes a cap allocation of 552,000 study permit applications for 2024. This allocation is expected to result in approximately 292,000 new study permits being issued during the year, particularly benefiting students impacted by Canada’s new international enrolment cap.

Implementation Strategy

The cap is meticulously designed to maintain foreign enrollment at zero growth compared to 2023 levels. This entails providing opportunities for increased enrolment in provinces with lower rates while concurrently decreasing study permits issued for provinces like Ontario and British Columbia.

Target Approval Rate

One crucial aspect of the announcement is the target approval rate for study permit applications in 2024, set at 53%. This rate represents a deliberate reduction from the historical average of 60%, signifying a strategic shift in managing international student intake.

Insights from Minister Marc Miller

Minister Miller elucidates on the rationale behind these measures, stating that the national cap is based on expiring study permits in the current year. This approach aims to align the number of incoming international students with the number whose permits expire, ensuring a balanced educational ecosystem.

Adjustments and Exemptions

The minister also highlights exemptions from the cap, such as primary and secondary school students and certain degree-seeking students. These exemptions, based on 2023 data, contribute to refining the target numbers for approved study permits in 2024.

Provincial and Territorial Allocations

The detailed statement released by Minister Miller outlines the allocation model across provinces and territories. This allocation strategy takes into account variations in provincial enrolment capacities and approval rates, contributing to a nuanced distribution of study permits.

Summary of Cap Allocation Model

The table below summarizes Canada’s international study permit cap allocation model for 2024:

Province/TerritoryTotal Allocated ApplicationsProjected Approved PermitsChange from 2023
British Columbia104,00058,848-24%
Source: IRCC

Key Takeaways

  • The official cap figures and targets for 2024 reflect a strategic approach by the Canadian government to manage international student enrolment.
  • The target approval rate of 53% indicates a deliberate reduction from previous years, aiming to control the influx of study permit applications.
  • Provinces and territories have been allocated study permit applications based on their capacity and historical enrolment trends, contributing to a balanced distribution.


The announcement by Immigration Minister Marc Miller underscores Canada’s commitment to maintaining a balanced and sustainable educational environment for both domestic and international students. The strategic allocation of study permits for 2024 reflects a nuanced approach towards managing enrolment while ensuring quality education opportunities.


What is the significance of the 53% approval rate for study permit applications?

  • The 53% approval rate reflects a deliberate strategy by the Canadian government to manage and control the influx of international students while ensuring a balanced educational landscape.

How will the cap allocation impact provinces like Ontario and British Columbia?

  • Provinces with higher enrolments, such as Ontario and British Columbia, will experience a decrease in study permits issued, aligning with the national cap’s objectives.

Are there any exemptions from the cap for specific student groups?

  • Yes, certain groups such as primary and secondary school students, as well as some degree-seeking students, are exempt from the cap allocation.

What factors influenced the target approval rate of 53%?

  • The target approval rate is influenced by various factors, including provincial capacities, historical approval rates, and the government’s objective to maintain enrolment at zero growth.

How does the cap allocation model contribute to a balanced educational ecosystem?

  • The allocation model considers provincial capacities and approval rates, ensuring a balanced distribution of study permits across provinces and territories.
February 5, 2024


Canada’s recent overhaul of its student visa rules has sent shockwaves globally. This article delves into the intricacies of the new regulations, shedding light on the key changes and their potential impact on international students.

The Freeze on Processing New Study Permits

The Canadian government has temporarily halted the processing of new study permit applications for undergraduate, college, and long-term language students. This suspension is in place until a new “provincial attestation” process is established by provincial and territorial governments across the country.

Exceptions to the Freeze

Despite the freeze, study permit applications for K-12, master’s, and doctoral students remain unaffected, exempt from the cap. Additionally, short-term language students with study programs lasting six months or less can proceed with their plans.

Provincial Allocations and Discussions

Provinces and territories will be allocated a share of the total national volume of study permit applications for 2024. Discussions are ongoing to finalize the numbers and determine their distribution among Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in each region.

New Policy Settings and Their Ramifications

The new policy settings, announced on January 22, include significant changes. Students in public-private partnership programs will lose eligibility for post-graduate work permits starting September 1, 2024. Limits on work permits for spouses of international students are also on the horizon.

Provincial Attestation Letter Requirement

A pivotal change is the requirement for a “provincial attestation” letter to accompany study permit applications. Provinces and territories are expected to establish mechanisms for providing these letters by March 31, 2024.

Processing of Applications Filed Before January 22

All study permit applications received before January 22 will continue to be processed without the need for a provincial attestation letter, providing relief to applicants who filed before the new regulations.

Language Students and the Cap

Longer-term language students, with programs lasting six months or more, fall under the cap and require a provincial attestation letter. Shorter courses, however, remain exempt.

Distribution Among Designated Learning Institutions

Once allocations are finalized, provinces and territories will determine how to distribute the caps among DLIs in each region. This process will impact the number of international students and is subject to various considerations, including local labor market demands.

The “Zero Net-Growth Model” Explained

IRCC aims to maintain zero growth in foreign enrollment over the next two years. The national cap is calculated based on expiring study permits in 2024, adjusted for expected extension applications and approval rates.


While the new regulations have created confusion, this article aims to provide clarity on the current situation. It’s crucial for students, institutions, and stakeholders to stay informed as more details unfold.



Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Can I still apply for a study permit if I’m exempt from the cap?

A: Yes, exemptions include those applying for extensions, pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree, or attending primary or secondary school.

  • Q: What happens to applications filed before January 22?

A: Applications received before this date will continue to be processed without the need for a provincial attestation letter.

  • Q: How will provinces distribute their cap allocations among Designated Learning Institutions?

A: Provinces will have control over how permits are allocated within their jurisdiction, considering factors such as approval rates and local demands.

  • Q: Is the provincial attestation letter requirement applicable to all study permit applications?

A: No, it applies only to certain applications received after the Minister’s announcement on January 22, 2024.

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