Canada’s International Student Program Sees Sharp Decline in 2024

Canada’s International Student Program

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals a significant downturn in both the number of study permits processed and approval rates for international students in 2024. This trend aligns with the government’s recently announced measures to stabilize the growth of international students in the country.

Key Statistics:
  1. March 2024 Processing:
    • Only 33,000 study permits were processed
    • This marks a dramatic decrease from March 2023, which saw over 70,000 permits processed
  2. Q1 2024 (January to April) Overview:
    • Total applications processed: 152,000
    • Approved applications: 76,307
    • Overall approval rate: 50%

These numbers represent a substantial shift in Canada’s approach to international education. The 50% approval rate is particularly noteworthy, indicating a more stringent evaluation process for study permit applications.

This decline in both processing numbers and approval rates can be attributed to the new policies announced by Minister Marc Miller in January 2024. These measures include:

  • An intake cap expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits for 2024, a 35% decrease from 2023
  • Provincial and territorial caps weighted by population
  • New requirements for attestation letters from provinces or territories
The government’s rationale for these changes includes:
  • Protecting the integrity of the international student system
  • Alleviating pressure on housing, healthcare, and other services
  • Ensuring better support and resources for international students

While these measures aim to create a more sustainable and balanced approach to international education in Canada, they are already having a significant impact on the number of Canada’s international students able to study in the country.

For prospective international students, these changes mean:
  • A more competitive application process
  • The need for stronger applications to meet potentially higher standards
  • Possibly longer processing times due to new verification procedures

Educational institutions across Canada are likely to feel the effects of these changes, potentially leading to adjustments in their Canada’s international Student recruitment strategies and financial planning.

As we move further into 2024, it will be crucial to monitor how these trends develop and their long-term impact on Canada’s international student education sector. The government has stated that these measures will be in place for two years, with plans to reassess and potentially adjust the approach for 2025.

We’ll continue to follow this developing situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

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