Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced that Canada will reduce the number of new international student permits it issues by 35 percent as part of a temporary two-year cap on foreign enrollment.
This will limit the number of approved visas in 2024 to 364,000, down from 560,000 last year.
Each province and territory will be allotted a portion of the total, distributed according to population, Miller said. The 2025 limit on new applications will be reassessed at the end of this year.
The cap will apply only to post-secondary undergraduate students, not those seeking visas for master’s programs, doctoral degrees or elementary and high school students.
Miller said the measure is partly targeted at unscrupulous schools that accept high tuition fees from foreign students and offer sham commerce degrees or business degrees.
In an interview with CBC, Miller said the number of these schools has “exploded in the last couple of years.” He said the measure will allow “future students who arrive in Canada to receive the quality of education that they signed up for.”
The cap will also help ease Canada’s housing crisis, which is often blamed on the increase in migrants and international students. According to Canadian government data, around one million foreign students currently study in the country. Miller said that without any intervention, that figure will keep increasing.