Canada imposes two-year limit on new study permits – ICEF Monitor

Canada announces two-year cap on new study permits - ICEF Monitor

“Canada to Restrict International Study Permits for 2 Years: Is It Justified or a Stunt?

Canada is putting a pause on the influx of international students for two years to keep quality in check and sustain the integrity of its student visa program. Immigration Minister Marc Miller believes this move is necessary to ensure that international students receive the quality education they sign up for when they come to Canada. He wants to make sure that they have the necessary resources to succeed and not fall prey to under-resourced campuses charging exorbitant fees.

Why the Sudden Limit on Study Permits?

Miller announced a temporary cap for the next two years, with the number of new study permits expected to decrease by 35% from 2023. This cap will be allocated by province based on population, but the effect will be felt most heavily in some areas, with reductions reaching about 50% for certain provinces. However, not all students will be affected by the cap; for instance, graduate-level students and elementary and secondary school applicants will be exempt.

Is the Cap Really Necessary?

Some argue that the cap seems reasonable, especially if it means keeping a check on substandard institutions preying on international students. However, organizations working with international students and institutions negatively impacted by these measures are asking whether the restrictions are about quality assurance or if they are rather about restraining competition.

The Consequences of the Cap

The cap will not just impact study permits; it will also affect the work eligibility of post-graduate students. Post-graduate work permits will no longer be available to public-private institution models, leaving many international students at a disadvantage. This not only affects the students financially but also may tarnish Canada’s reputation as a destination for high-quality education and ample job opportunities.


The Minister’s decision to limit international student study permits is an attempt to ensure academic integrity and serve as a quality assurance measure. However, it begs the question of whether it’s a genuine move to protect students or an attempt to restrict competition. The impact of these measures could have pronounced economic, academic, and reputational consequences for Canada in the aftermath. Let’s hope that the two-year cap serves its intended purpose and ensures that only the finest are able to come through, while everyone else gets the quality education and support they deserve. We can only wait and see.”



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