Canada’s new international student program expected to halve the study permit

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Posted on June 24, 2024


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An education recruitment company’s analysis indicates that Canada’s foreign student program revamp is expected to result in a halving of the number of approved international study permits this year.

ApplyBoard said in a report on Wednesday that the number of study permits awarded might fall to 229,000 if application volumes and acceptance rates from the first four months of this year continue to be consistent through 2024. The analysis used data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Compared to the 436,678 permits that were approved the previous year, that is a 48% decrease.

Early indications point to a significant reduction in the exponential expansion of temporary immigration, which was a major factor in the post-pandemic rapid population increases and the severe housing shortages. This is due to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ban on foreign student visas.

In late January, the Trudeau administration declared its intention to reduce the number of study permits issued this year by 35% compared to 2023. The new regulations are aimed at a segment of the higher education sector that has been offering courses to students as a means of immigration, primarily from India.

Indian students’ applications for study permits fell to 4,210 in March as provinces were deciding how to distribute the additional visas to universities. The figures indicated that this is in contrast to an average of 22,500 in the first two months of the year. ApplyBoard stated that the dramatic drop “may be the first indication of seismic shifts in incoming student demographics.”

When compared to the same period last year, students from Senegal, Bangladesh, Ghana, and Guinea had greater approval volumes in the first quarter.

As governments, employers, and students adjust to the new laws, ApplyBoard anticipates a slight increase in the number of applications. However, it continues to project the final authorized permit for 2024 at 292,000, in keeping with the government’s target reduction of 35%.