Fixed Numbers Of International Students For Each Canadian Province Being Considered

Newfoundland & Labrador Says Canada’s Study Permit Cap Ambiguous
Canada immigration free assessment

An unnamed source has reportedly told CBC News that British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia could be hit with limits on the number of international students they can welcome at their colleges and universities.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Star has reportedly seen an internal federal government memo outlining plans to set a fixed number of international students for each province.

The reported leak of information about caps on study visas in certain provinces where the housing stock may be deemed insufficient for the number of temporary residents comes after Immigration Minister Marc Miller floated the idea of caps on international students.

“Housing remains a pressing concern, especially in the post-COVID landscape, with the rise in interest rates, supply constraints, and affordability issues,” said Miller.

The immigration minister has expressed his commitment to closely examine the influx of international students and temporary residents entering Canada due to worries that record immigration is contributing to the country’s housing crisis.

Under the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is now planning to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, another 500,000 in 2025 and then hold the line on immigration in 2026 with another 500,000 newcomers.

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That’s a total of 1.485 million immigrants to Canada over those three years.

Even senior economists with the country’s biggest banks are now saying that level of immigration to Canada has been poorly managed.

“Frankly I’m surprised we screwed it up because we sit in such a privileged position in Canada,” Beata Caranci, chief economist at Toronto Dominion Bank, has reportedly said.

“We designed our own policy, we put it in place, we implemented it, and we still screwed it up.”

Stéfane Marion, chief economist at National Bank of Canada, seems to agree, describing Canada’s immigration policies as a “population trap”.

Ottawa has responded to the housing crisis and the rising numbers of international students – some of whom are now warning their compatriots back home not to come to Canada – by  roughly doubling the amount of money international students will need to study in Canada.

That move, however, was presented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) not as an attempt to limit the number of international students but only to ensure that those who do come to Canada have the needed financial resources given the rising cost of living.

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Foreign nationals who apply for a study visa now need to demonstrate they have access to $20,635, up from $10,000.

“International students provide significant cultural, social and economic benefits to their communities, but they have also faced challenges navigating life in Canada,” said Miller.

“We are revising the cost-of-living threshold so that international students understand the true cost of living here. This measure is key to their success in Canada. We are also exploring options to ensure that students find adequate housing.”

The CBC News report claims Canada was on track as 2023 came to an end to have welcomed 900,000 international students.

Studying In Canada Allows Foreign Nationals To Gain Canadian Work Experience

Once in Canada, international students are able to work on campus without a work permit while completing their studies if:

  • they have a valid study permit;
  • are full-time students at a post-secondary public school (college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec), or at a private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools and is at least 50 per cent funded by government grants, or at a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law, and;
  • have a Social Insurance Number.

International students are also usually able to work off-campus without a work permit  while completing their studies – when the current liftin of the 20-hour rule is not in effect – if:

  • they have a valid study permit;
  • are full-time students in a designated learning institution (a post-secondary program, or in Quebec at a vocational program at the secondary level as well);
  • their study program is academic, vocational or professional, it lasts at least six months and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate;
  • they are only working up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, and full time during scheduled breaks (for example, winter and summer holidays or spring break).

Certain study programs include work requirements such as co-op or internships. In such cases, a work permit is required in order for the foreign student to be able to complete the work.

With the work experience and education gained while at Canadian colleges and universities, many international students then apply for permanent residence in Canada under such immigration programs as the Express Entry’s  Canada Experience Class Program  (CEC).

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.