Canada is set to implement new measures regarding its international student program, as announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These changes include a temporary halt on processing new study permit applications until possibly after March 31, 2024, as the country aims to manage growth and reduce the influx of new international students in 2024.

A key reform is the introduction of a cap on new study permits, with a target of around 360,000 for 2024. Provinces and territories are responsible for issuing attestation letters, which, alongside a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution, are now mandatory for every study permit application. This new requirement aims to verify the authenticity of applications and preserve the integrity of Canada’s international student system.

However, the implementation of these attestation letters depends on provincial and territorial governments, which have until March 31, 2024, to set up the necessary processes. This delay could mean that new study permit applications may not be accepted by IRCC until after this date. Students should note that cap-exempt study permits are still available.

For those looking to apply for a study permit, obtaining both an LOA and an attestation letter is essential. Additionally, IRCC has introduced several other measures to modify the international student program. These include a two-year cap on new study permits, with individual caps for each province and territory based on population, excluding renewals, current permit holders, and students in master’s, doctoral, elementary, and secondary education programs.

Furthermore, changes are coming to the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. From September 1, 2024, students in programs under curriculum licensing arrangements will be ineligible for a PGWP, while graduates of master’s and short graduate-level programs will soon be able to apply for a 3-year work permit.

For more information on these changes and to read the full IRCC press release from January 22, 2024, prospective international students can visit specific webpages dedicated to studying in Canada and the Canadian study permit process.

All content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or advisory.

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