Canada Implements New Study Permit Allocation Model for 2024, Aims for Balanced International Student Intake.

The Canadian Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, has announced plans to approve a total of 235,600 new study permits in 2024. 

Additionally, a cap of 392,667 has been set for new study permit applications, excluding primary and secondary school students and master’s or doctoral degree students, based on a 60% approval rate. 

This year, Canada aims to approve a total of 485,000 study permits, including approximately 97,000 permit extensions from within the country. Overall, the immigration department expects to receive around 606,000 study permit applications in 2024, with the capping set at an overall total of 606,000 for all study permit application types, excluding certain categories like primary and secondary school students and master’s or doctoral degree students, of which nearly 392,667 are allocated for new study permit applications.

Upon the announcement of the new cap by Marc Miller in January, the official IRCC news release explicitly mentioned that individuals pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as elementary and secondary education, would not be subject to the cap.

However, it appears that IRCC has since decided to impose the cap on all types of study permit applications.

The allocation of study permit applications to provinces and territories is determined based on their respective populations.

IRCC acknowledges that without adjustments, this system could lead to some provinces and territories experiencing an increase in international students in 2024 compared to 2023, while others may see a decrease.

To mitigate any adverse effects, IRCC has adjusted the allocations for provinces with lower study permit allocations. Provinces that were projected to receive more international students in 2024 than in 2023 had their allocations capped at 10% of their population.

Additionally, the department has increased allocations for provinces with approval rates below 60%, aiming to ensure that these provinces meet their expected number of approved study permits.

Study Permit Allocations Across Canadian Provinces: Overview and Insights

Ontario has been allocated the largest number of study permits, totaling 235,000. As Canada’s most populous province, Ontario boasts 530 designated learning institutions (DLIs). However, it’s worth noting that a significant portion, 96%, of these permits will be directed to public universities and colleges, leaving only a small fraction available for private institutions.

Other provinces also received substantial allocations. Quebec, for instance, has been allocated 117,917 study permits after adjustments for population and approved permits.

In March, British Columbia announced its allocation of 83,000 study permits, with an almost equal distribution between public and private institutions.

Alberta’s allocation, despite being home to 11.67% of Canada’s population, has been capped at 10%, resulting in a total of 40,894 study permits.

Nova Scotia initially reported an allocation of 12,900 study permits. However, recent data from IRCC reveals a top-up of 7,472 permits, bringing the province’s total allocation to 20,378 study permits.

Allocation After Initial AdjustmentFinal Allocation After Top-Ups for PTs with Approval Rate Below 60%
Province / TerritoryPT Allocations (A)Projected SPs Approved (B)% Change from 2023Top-Up (C)Revised PT Allocations with Top-Up (A+C)Projected SPs Approved (same as B)
British Columbia83,00049,800-18%N/A83,00049,800
New Brunswick9,2795,567-10%5,37214,6515,567
Newfoundland and Labrador2,3651,41910%7883,1533,153
Northwest Territories3332004900%N/A333200
Nova Scotia12,9067,744-10%7,47220,3787,744
Prince Edward Island2,0041,202-10%3082,3121,202

Canada’s 2024 Study Permit Allocation Strategy According to the minister’s announcement, the national cap on international students aligns with a net zero growth model, ensuring it matches the number of expiring study permits for the year. The target for 2024 is to reach 485,000 approved study permits.

IRCC has distributed a revised total of 393,000 study permit applications, considering each province and territory’s population share.

Under this framework, certain regions may see an increase in new students compared to 2023, while others may experience a decline.

IRCC has adjusted allocations for provinces anticipating growth exceeding 10% from 2023 levels, ensuring a balanced distribution. Additionally, provinces with anticipated decreases in student intake have received adjusted allocations to mitigate initial impacts and support regional immigration objectives.

Furthermore, allocations have been augmented for provinces with approval rates below 60%, facilitating their attainment of targeted study permit approvals by 2024. In total, approximately 552,000 study permit applications have been allocated within the national cap.

These adjustments aim to result in roughly 292,000 approved study permits, marking a 28% reduction from 2023 for groups subject to the cap.

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