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Tag Archives: Canada News

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.

January 30, 2024


In a significant announcement, Immigration Minister Marc Miller revealed that Canada will implement a temporary, two-year cap on the issuance of new study permits to international students. This measure, effective for 2024 and 2025, aims to address concerns related to the quality of education and integrity within the student visa program.

Reason Behind the Cap

Minister Miller, speaking in Montréal on 22 January, emphasized the need to guarantee a high-quality education for incoming international students. The government’s decision is driven by the desire to prevent under-resourced institutions from taking advantage of students and charging exorbitant tuition fees.

Cap Details: A 35% Reduction and Provincial Allocations

The temporary cap is expected to result in a 35% reduction in new study permits issued in 2024 compared to the previous year. Allocations will be based on provincial populations, with some provinces facing more substantial reductions than others.

Exemptions and Impact on Different Levels of Study

The cap will not apply to graduate-level programs, including master’s and doctoral studies, ensuring that high-level education remains unaffected. Additionally, elementary and secondary school level study permit applications are exempt. However, questions arise about the actual reduction percentage considering these exemptions.

Additional Requirements: Provincial Attestation and Application Process

To strengthen the application process, applicants must provide a provincial attestation along with their study permit application, effective immediately. Provinces and territories are expected to establish this process by March 31, 2024, enhancing the overall transparency and accountability of the system.

Continuity for Existing Students: No Impact on Continuing Students

Reassuringly, Minister Miller clarified that the cap will not affect applicants within Canada looking to extend their studies. Continuing students and current study permit holders in Canada will not be subject to the cap, ensuring fairness and program continuity.

Changes in Work Eligibility:

  • Post-Graduate Work Permits and Open Work Permits for Spouses

Effective from September 1, 2024, post-graduate work permits will no longer be available for students in public-private partnership programs. Simultaneously, open work permits will only be allowed for spouses of international students in master’s, doctoral, and professional programs, such as medicine and law.

  • Expanding Post-Study Work Rights for Graduates

Acknowledging the limitations of the current criteria, the government plans to expand post-study work rights for graduate students. Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will soon be eligible to apply for a three-year work permit, facilitating a smoother transition to permanent residence.


Canada’s two-year cap on study permits reflects a commitment to ensuring the quality of education for international students. While uncertainties and concerns persist, the government’s proactive measures aim to strike a balance between controlling influx and providing opportunities for genuine academic pursuits.


Q: How will the cap impact existing international students in Canada?

A: The cap will not affect existing students or those looking to extend their studies within Canada.

Q: Are all provinces subject to the same percentage reduction under the cap?

A: No, allocations will be based on provincial populations, resulting in varying percentage reductions.

Q: Will the cap apply to graduate-level programs?

A: No, the cap exempts graduate-level programs, including master’s and doctoral studies.

Q: How will the government ensure transparency in the application process?

A: Applicants must now provide a provincial attestation along with their study permit application, enhancing transparency.

Q: What changes are expected in work permits for spouses of international students?

A: Open work permits will only be available to spouses of students in master’s, doctoral, and professional programs, limiting eligibility for other levels of study.

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