Canada announces 2-year cap on international student visas - Will Indians be affected?

Canada announces two-year cap on new international student visas amid housing crisis, significantly affecting Indians planning to study in the country. There will be a 35% reduction in new student visas this year, with a reassessment of permits issued in 2025.

Canada announces 2-year cap on international student visas - Will Indians be affected?

CANADA has announced a two-year cap on new international student visas amid an escalating housing crisis.

Data shared by Immigration Minister Marc Miller indicates that there will be 364,000 new permits approved in 2024 — significantly affecting Indians planning to study in the country. Nearly 3.2 lakh Indians are already residing in Canada under student visas.

“To maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada, as well to ensure that there is no further growth in the number of international students in Canada for 2024, we are setting a national application intake cap for two years from 2024," Global News quoted Miller as saying.

There will be a 35% reduction in new student visas this year — from around 560,000 such documents issued last year. The number of permits that will be issued in 2025 will be reassessed at the end of 2024. 

The move is expected to impact students from India who see Canada as a preferred destination for higher studies. More than 800,000 international students were issued temporary study visas in 2022. And immigration data cited in various reports suggest that 40% of international students admitted to Canadian institutions hailed from India during this time. As of November 2023, Indian students accounted for around 2.15 lakh of the permits issued that year.

Provinces and territories will be left to decide how permits are distributed among universities and colleges in their jurisdictions. However, Miller said that the reduction would be up to 50% for some regions. The federal government will also require international students applying for a permit to provide an attestation letter from a province or territory.

The development comes as a response to Canada's ongoing housing crisis and mounting pressure on the federal government over the increasing numbers of non-permanent residents entering the country.