Canada to stabilize growth and decrease number of students.

Canada Implements Measures to Stabilize International Student Growth and Ensure Program Integrity

The Canadian government, led by Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller, has introduced measures to address challenges in the international student system. The government plans to stabilize the growth of new international student permits by setting an intake cap, resulting in approximately 360,000 approved study permits for 2024—a 35% decrease from 2023. Individual provincial and territorial caps have been established to address unsustainable growth, with exemptions for study permit renewals and specific educational programs.

To implement the cap, study permit applications will now require an attestation letter from the province or territory, emphasizing the collaboration between federal and regional authorities. These temporary measures will be in place for two years, with a reassessment in 2025. The government aims to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a sustainable path forward for international students, including a recognized institution framework and long-term sustainable levels. Additionally, changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program include the exclusion of international students in curriculum licensing arrangements and the introduction of a 3-year work permit eligibility for master’s degree graduates. Open work permits for spouses will be limited to master’s and doctoral programs.

Minister Miller emphasized the need to protect the international student system from abuse, stating that these measures strike a balance between supporting genuine students and ensuring the integrity of the immigration system. The government has also implemented cost-of-living updates for study permit applicants and enhanced verification processes for acceptance letters. Looking ahead, Canada aims to provide clear pathways to permanent residence for students with in-demand skills and plans targeted pilots to assist underrepresented cohorts of international students.

References Immigration, R. and C.C. (2024) Canada to stabilize growth and decrease number of new international student permits issued to approximately 360,000 for 2024,

Available Here (Accessed: 25 January 2024).