Saskatchewan Gets Boost For Study Permit Allocation To More Than 15,000

Saskatchewan’s allocation of study permit applications has grown to 15,054 from the originally-announced 12,000, an increase of 25.4 per cent.

Based on the historical rate of acceptance, that number of applications could result in about 7,200 study permits for international students in Saskatchewan during the upcoming school year.

“In Saskatchewan, we have been responsibly building our international student program and are committed to providing the supports international students need to succeed at our post-secondary institutions,” said Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant.

“We appreciate Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) increasing its allocation for Saskatchewan as international students play a key role in maintaining economic growth and are a critical component to helping meet our labour market needs.”

The Prairie province is one of the first in Canada to launch an automated attestation letter system, a new requirement of the Canadian immigration department, by using MyCreds, a national information technology platform for official academic documents which already partners with provincial education and post-secondary sectors.

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Under the new regulation, new post-secondary international students at the college or undergraduate level must now submit a provincial attestation letter with a corresponding letter of acceptance from a post-secondary institution when applying for an international study permit.

The province’s Advanced Education ministry has already processed more than 1,200 provincial attestation letters from 11 different post-secondary institutions.

Saskatchewan has also hit the pause button on new applications for designation under the Saskatchewan International Student program. Colleges and universities interested in becoming designated to host international students for programs longer than six months in Saskatchewan will be able to apply for designation once again starting in January 2026.

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Immigration Minister Marc Miller slapped a cap of 606,250 study permit applications for the coming year for new international students earlier this year in an attempt to reduce the number of temporary residents in the country as Ottawa faces criticism over a lack of affordable housing.

The Globe and Mail reported that cap on study permit applications would likely mean a drop of 35 per cent study permits compared to last year but the actual drop is now expected to be much higher, closer to 40 per cent.

be exempt from the cap on study permit applications.

Seven Categories Of International Students Exempt From Cap On Applications

“As stipulated in these Instructions, certain categories of study permit applications are excluded from the conditions set out in these Instructions and the associated application cap established by these Instructions.”

Exempt from this new cap on international study permits are those international students who already have study permits and are seeking to renew them and the family member of a temporary resident who already has either a work or study permit.

Also exempt from the cap on study permits are:

  • members of the armed forces of a country under the Visiting Forces Act, including a person who has been designated as a civilian component of those armed forces;
  • officers of a foreign governments sent, under exchange agreements between Canada and one or more countries, to take up duties with a federal or provincial agency;
  • participants in sports activities or events, in Canada, either as an individual participant or as a member of a foreign-based team or Canadian amateur team;
  • employees of foreign news companies reporting on events in Canada;
  • people responsible for assisting congregations or groups in the achievement of their spiritual goals and whose main duties are to preach doctrine, perform functions related to gatherings of their congregations or groups or provide spiritual counselling.

Throughout Canada, colleges and universities have expressed concern over the cap on study permit applications, saying it sends the wrong signal to international students.

President and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) Larissa Bezo said in a webinar organised by The PIE and Student VIP that the cap on study permits is not the way her organizations would have chosen to proceed to address the housing issue.

The CBIE issued a statement in January expressing concern the cap on the number of international students might have serious unintended consequences.

“This hasty one-size-fits-all solution may jeopardize the benefits of international education that many communities across the country experience and rapidly unravel a strong global Canadian education brand that has taken years to build,” notes the CBIE on its website.

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.

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