New rules for international students in Canada 2024


As part of an important effort to stabilize growth and ensure the integrity of the education system, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a series of changes to the Canadian study permit system. These changes are expected to impact international students planning to study in Canada starting in 2024.

New ceilings on study permits

To manage the rapid growth of the international student population, IRCC will implement a temporary cap on the number of study permits issued. For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 study permits approvedmarking a decrease in 35% Since 2023.

Provincial caps and attestation letters

IRCC also introduces caps for each province and territory, weighted by population. This measure aims to respond to the unsustainable growth of the international student population in certain provinces. From March 31, 2024any study permit application will require a letter of certification from a province or territoryensuring students receive the support they need to succeed.

Changes to post-graduation work permits

From September 2024international students who begin a program of study that is part of a program license agreement will no longer be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). However, graduates of master’s and other short postgraduate programs will soon be able to apply for a 3 year work permitproviding them with an extensive opportunity to acquire valuable Canadian work experience.

Changes to open work permits for spouses of international students

According to the new rules, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. This means that if an international student pursues other levels of study, such as undergraduate or college programs, their spouse will no longer be eligible for an spouse’s open work permit.

The role of designated educational institutions

Designated Educational Institutions (DDIs) play a crucial role in the international student permit system. DLIs are the only post-secondary institutions in Canada authorized to admit international students. There is more of 1,000 DLI in Canada, including 529 in Ontario. IRCC works closely with DLIs to ensure they provide the necessary support to international students.

Double proof of funds requirements for students

In December, IRCC made changes to the international student program, including double the cost of living for international students $10,000 has $20,635. This change aims to help international students better prepare for the true cost of living in Canada, ensuring they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their studies.

Read the detailed story: Amount of the Canada GIC: the big jump to $20,000 for students

The framework trust agreement

IRCC should implement a Framework trust agreement with DLIs in time for the 2024 academic season. This agreement will expedite the processing of study permits for eligible IDDs, reducing the wait time for international students. This is an important step towards a more efficient and user-friendly application process.

The impact on housing and other services

The influx of international students has put pressure on housing, health care and other services. By implementing these changes, IRCC aims to alleviate some of this pressure, particularly in regions with high concentrations of international students. This is expected to improve the quality of life of international students and residents.

The transition to permanent residence

Changes to PTPD eligibility criteria are expected to have a significant impact on the transition to permanent residence for international students. According to the latest data from November 2023 provided by IRCC, 62,410 international graduate students successfully obtained permanent residence in Canada. This marked a notable increase in 9,670 individuals related to 52,740 international graduates who transitioned to permanent residency in 2022. The new changes aim to further streamline this process, making it easier for international students to become permanent residents.

Need advice?

The changes to Canada’s international student permit system represent a significant policy shift. While they may present short-term challenges, they also pave the way for a more sustainable and equitable education system. As always, prospective international students must stay informed and plan accordingly to successfully navigate these changes.

Remember, at ELAAR, we are here to help you navigate these changes. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We are in this together and committed to helping you realize your dreams of studying in Canada. Please contact us for our professional immigration services.

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