Canada puts a 2-year limit on visas for international students
In an effort to address the housing problem and target institutional “bad actors,” Canada has declared that it will immediately impose a two-year cap on new international student visas. This announcement is likely to have an impact on Indian students who are planning to study there.
According to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, the cap will result in a 35% decrease in new study visas issued in 2024. In 2024, it is anticipated that the cap will lead to 3,64,000 newly authorized licenses. Last year, around 5,60,000 student visas were granted.
According to him, the cap will be in effect for two years, and at the conclusion of this year, the number of licenses that will be issued in 2025 will be reevaluated.
According to Mr. Miller declared, “We are setting a national application intake cap for two years from 2024 to ensure that there is no further growth in the number of international students in Canada for 2024 also to maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada.”
The decision was made in response to pressure from the provinces on the federal government over the growing number of non-permanent immigrants entering the nation at a time when housing is a major issue, according to CBC News.
A cap on foreign enrollment, according to Mr. Miller’s comments earlier this month, would not be a “one-size-fits-all solution” to Canada’s housing crisis.
In 2022, more over 8,000,000 temporary study visas were granted to foreign students. In the autumn of last year, Mr. Miller stated that the numbers for 2023 were expected to surpass the ones that had been approved a decade prior.
Students in India will be affected
The decision is expected to have an effect on Indian students who view Canada as their first choice for further education.
With 3,19,000 students, India ranked first among the top ten origin nations of study permits in Canada in 2022.
focusing on "bad actors" in institutions
According to Mr. Miller, the federal government is targeting certain tiny private universities with the cap. He claimed that the action will assist the government in pursuing institutional “bad actors”.
“It’s unacceptable that some private institutions have taken advantage of international students by operating under-resourced campuses, lacking supports for students and charging high tuition fees all the while significantly increasing their intake of international students,” Miller stated.
According to Mr. Miller, the overall decrease of permits in certain provinces will be close to fifty percent.
The distribution of permits among colleges and institutions within their respective jurisdictions will be left up to the provinces and territories. The cap will be in effect for two years, after which, at the conclusion of this year, the number of licenses to be issued in 2025 will be reevaluated.
Mr. Miller discussed “degree-granting institutions that are giving fake business degrees” to students who want to remain in Canada in an interview with CBC News on January 22. According to the minister, there are “hundreds” of these kinds of schools in Canada, and they have “exploded in the last couple of years.”
The federal government will also want an attestation letter from a province or territory from overseas students requesting a permit, in addition to the cap. “These measures are not against individual international students,” stated Mr. Miller. “They are to ensure that as future students arrive in Canada, they receive the quality of education that they signed up for and the hope that they were provided in their home countries.”
According to the government, graduates of master’s degrees and other “short graduate-level programmes” will “soon” be eligible to apply for a three-year work permit. Spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctorate programs will also be granted open work permits. A little more than a month has passed since Mr. Miller initially unveiled plans to tackle what the minister referred to as “the diploma equivalent of puppy mills.” The revisions were finally announced on January 23.
The "mismanagement" of Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is solely to blame, according to Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who also referred to Trudeau as “incompetent.” “The study permissions were given by him. That falls under federal jurisdiction,” Mr. Poilievre added.
The head of the New Democratic Party, Jenny Kwan, likewise attributed Mr. Trudeau’s “mismanagement.” Furthermore, she expressed concern that the proposed cap “might punish talented students who seek to build a better life.” Jill Dunlop, the minister of colleges and universities for Ontario, said in a media statement that “some bad actors are taking advantage of these students with false promises of guaranteed employment, residency and Canadian citizenship.”
According to the minister, Ontario and the federal government have been discussing “methods to crack down on these practices, like predatory recruitment.”
The Department of Advanced Education in Nova Scotia released a statement stating that they “will need to assess the impacts of the changes made by the federal government once we have more details, including provincial allocations.”