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Canada limits international student visas to two years, potentially impacting Indians

January 23, 2024

Canada has swiftly implemented a two-year cap on new international student visas as part of its strategy to address a housing crisis and tackle issues related to certain institutions. The move is expected to have repercussions for Indian students planning to pursue studies in the country. Immigration Minister Marc Miller outlined that the cap includes a 35% reduction in new study visas for the year 2024. This reduction is anticipated to result in approximately 364,000 approved permits, a significant decrease from the nearly 560,000 visas issued the previous year.

The two-year cap will be in effect, with a reassessment scheduled for 2025. Miller emphasized that the objective is to maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada and prevent further growth in the number of international students during 2024. The decision comes amidst mounting pressure on the federal government from provinces dealing with increased numbers of non-permanent residents entering Canada while concurrently grappling with a housing crisis.

The move targets specific concerns related to small private colleges that may be exploiting international students. Miller highlighted the need to address “bad actors” among institutions, expressing dissatisfaction with some private colleges operating under-resourced campuses, lacking student support, and charging high tuition fees. He emphasized that the measures aim to ensure that international students receive the quality of education they expect when arriving in Canada.

In addition to the cap, the federal government will now require international students applying for a permit to provide an attestation letter from a province or territory. These measures are not directed against individual international students but are intended to safeguard the quality of education and fulfill the expectations of students in their home countries.

Miller also announced changes to the post-graduation work permit program, including adjustments for specific categories of international students and their eligibility for work permits. The changes aim to address concerns such as diploma mills and to guarantee a higher quality of education for international students in Canada. Critics have attributed the issues to alleged mismanagement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The measures are expected to be crucial in ensuring the integrity of Canada’s international education system while cracking down on unethical practices.

Source: PTI

Also read: Canada: India-Canada row fallout

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