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Canada considers capping international student numbers, to affect Indians

January 16, 2024

Canada is exploring the option of imposing a cap on the number of international students to address the housing demand surge and rectify a system that has become unmanageable, according to Immigration Minister Marc Miller. The move is likely to impact Indian students, as they constitute a significant portion of international students in Canada. Miller emphasized the need for discussions with provincial governments to rein in the numbers on a volume basis. The federal government aims to ensure that provinces fulfill their responsibilities in managing the increasing influx of international students. While Miller acknowledged that a cap on international students would not be a one-size-fits-all solution for housing shortages, he did not disclose the specific reduction the government is considering.

India tops the list of the ten origin countries of study permit holders in Canada, with 319,000 students in 2022. The federal government has faced criticism for its ambitious immigration targets, with warnings that the targets could jeopardize housing affordability. The government aims to bring in 485,000 immigrants in 2023, and 500,000 in both 2025 and 2026. Temporary residents, including international students and migrant workers, are a significant part of the equation, with over 300,000 arriving in Canada in the third quarter of the previous year.

Miller stated that the government would assess the possibility of setting a cap on international students in the first and second quarters of this year to alleviate housing demand. He emphasized the need to verify offer letters and ensure the financial capability of individuals coming to Canada. Miller acknowledged that a cap on international students is under consideration at the federal level and will be discussed with provinces. The government aims to strike a balance between addressing housing demand, verifying academic institutions’ financial needs, and considering the workforce’s age distribution.

The move to consider a cap on international students reflects concerns about the impact on housing availability and the need to maintain a balanced immigration system. Discussions with provinces and stakeholders are expected to shape the decision and potential policy adjustments in the coming months.

Source: PTI

Also read: Indian students in Canada are concerned about job opportunities

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