Amid the housing crisis, Canada considers a cap on foreign students.

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Posted on January 17, 2024


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As the country’s housing crisis worsens, Canada is thinking of imposing a limit on the number of foreign students who may reside there. Concerns concerning the number of foreign students in the nation at the moment were voiced by Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

In response to mounting pressure on the government to address the housing crisis, immigration minister Marc Miller said on CTV News on Sunday that he would consider capping the number of foreign students admitted over the next few months. 

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership, the Liberal government planned to welcome 485,000 newcomers to Canada in 2024 and 500,000 in each of the following two years, 2025 and 2026. But the population boom and rising number of international students suggest that the housing stock is not even close to being able to accommodate the demand. 

In the third quarter of 2023, Canada’s population increased by over 430,000, the fastest rate of growth since 1957. 

When asked why the government was thinking about this now, considering the idea was first proposed in August of last year, Miller responded, “We need to be doing our jobs and making sure that we have a system that actually makes sure people have a financial capability to come to Canada, that we’re actually verifying offer letters.”

“And now it’s time for us to have a conversation about volumes and the impact that that is having in certain areas.”

For Indian students, who frequently favor Canada as their preferred destination for obtaining graduate degrees, the decision may have far-reaching consequences. Out of 579,075 international students studying in Canada, 215,910 were Indian, according to data from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

India accounted for nearly half of the 32,000 tech workers who relocated to Canada between April 2022 and March 2023. Although it was 40% fewer than the same period in 2022, the Canadian government processed approximately 87,000 new applications for study permits for Indian nationals between July and October of 2023.

For Indians, Canada is still a desirable destination, but if the current housing crisis continues and the Trudeau government is unwilling to commit to finding a solution, the appeals may be wearing thin.