Language agents finding ‘go-around’ for Canada cap

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Posted on April 19, 2024


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Agents locating students for language schools in Canada are experimenting with various ‘go-arounds’ for the study permit cap that has affected institutions. PAL allocations by province were made completely public in mid-April, and many language schools are finding that they are only getting a quarter of what they have in past years, if not none at all.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller denied any exemption for language students who require a study permit and normally stay for more than six months. On the other hand, an agent at the Cardiff 2024 IALC Conference said that his firm had created a workaround for the cap that involves the US for students from Taiwan and Korea.

“We try to get the students through the US – our sales teams are trying to make solutions,” stated Seo Dong-Seong, CEO and founder of the Korean-Taiwanese firm EDM Education.

The approach is to provide a course where students study for three or four months at a language school in New York City, where the majority of them are exempt from the need for an ESTA visa, according to Seo.

In order to avoid requiring study permission in Canada, EDM is transferring them to a partner school in Toronto after that time for an additional three months of classes.

There is a 10,000 quota for the 2024 season of these International Experience Canada visas, which would permit less than six months of language study in accordance with Canada’s agreement with Korea in 2023.

The bulk of students YongSung Cho, general manager of BreakEdu, has spoken with who were thinking about getting a study permit are now considering an IEC visa, even though seats are not assured and it can take some time for a student to receive an invitation.

He said, “Students might apply for language study for 12 weeks or a little longer, and then they can make a decision to extend when they are in Canada.”

Students who apply for a study visa onshore will not be subject to the cap, per its regulations. That’s also the main reason why Koreans are drawn to studying English in Canada overall; according to Seo, students must return home to extend their student or tourist visas in the UK, which has very short stay periods.