Canada Announces Two-Year Cap On International Student Permit

Canada announced a temporary two-year intake cap on new study permit applications to stabilize the rapidly growing international student population and ensure all students receive adequate support for a successful experience.

Recognizing the crucial role international students play in Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric, Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) on Monday announced a temporary two-year intake cap on new student permit applications.

This measure aims to stabilize the rapidly growing international student population and ensure all students receive adequate support for a successful experience.

Key Measures to Stabilize International Student Intake

The Government of Canada will implement a cap on international student permit applications. This strategic move, effective immediately and spanning two years, aims to stabilize new growth and protect the interests of both students and Canadian communities.

Canada Cap on Student Permit

1. Intake Cap

For 2024, approximately 360,000 study permits will be approved, representing a 35% decrease from 2023. Individual provincial and territorial caps, weighted by population, will see more significant decreases in areas with unsustainable growth.


2. Focus on Long-Term Sustainability

The cap is a temporary measure alongside continued collaboration with provinces, territories, institutions, and stakeholders to;

  • Develop a sustainable long-term framework for international students.
  • Establish appropriate student population levels.
  • Ensure institutions provide adequate student housing.

3. Exemptions

Notably, study permit renewals, as well as those pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, and elementary and secondary education, remain exempt from the cap. Existing study permit holders will also remain unaffected.

4. Attestation Letters

To operationalize the cap, the IRCC will allocate a portion to each province and territory. These regions will, in turn, distribute the allocation among their designated learning institutions.

Beginning January 22, 2024, every study permit application submitted to IRCC will require an attestation letter from the respective province or territory, ensuring a fair and transparent process. Provinces and territories are expected to establish this attestation process by March 31, 2024.


5. Post-Graduation Work Permit Changes

Curriculum Licensing Arrangements: Starting September 1, 2024, international students enrolled in programs under curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit. This addresses concerns related to oversight and eligibility loopholes associated with private colleges.

Extended Work Permit for Graduates: Graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will now be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit, providing them with increased opportunities for work experience and potential transitions to permanent residence.

6. Open Work Permits Restricted

In a bid to further align with program objectives, open work permits will now be exclusively available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. This targeted approach aims to support families while focusing resources where they are most needed.

Balancing Opportunity and Responsibility

“These measures strike a balance between welcoming genuine students seeking a valuable education and ensuring their well-being,” said Immigration Minister Marc Miller. “We want international students to thrive in Canada while addressing pressures on our communities.”


Moving Forward

The government remains committed to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for international students while ensuring sustainable growth and a positive experience for all.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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