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JUST IN: Canada announces likelihood of ban on new study permit applications till March 2024, other changes

Canada has announced that there may be no new study permit applications until March 31st, 2024.

This may be the case unless provinces act quickly as reforms this week is aimed at stabilizing growth and decreasing the number of new international student permits issued in 2024.

Nairametrics learnt that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been relying on provinces to help implement the cap of approximately 360,000 new study permits in 2024.

However, prospective students may still be able to submit cap-exempt study permits.

New study requirements for study visa application 

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Previously, international students only needed a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Canadian school to apply for a study permit.

But since January 22, 2024, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) started to receive study permit applications that includes an attestation letter from a province or territory.

This letter, confirming the student’s acceptance, should be submitted along with the LOA from the Canadian school. IRCC aims to enhance the authenticity of study permit applications through these attestation letters, and provinces have until March 31, 2024, to set up a process for issuing them.

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However, it’s uncertain if all provinces will have this system in place by the deadline, potentially delaying new study permit applications to IRCC.

Applying for a study permit

Once international students obtain both a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) and an attestation letter from their school and province/territory, they can proceed with their study permit application in Canada.

In addition, IRCC’s recent press release introduces various changes to Canada’s international student program. A two-year cap on new study permits is now in place nationwide, with provincial and territorial caps determined by population size.

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This measure aims to reduce unsustainable growth in certain provinces. However, certain groups, such as study permit renewal applicants, current permit holders, and those pursuing specific educational levels, are exempt from this cap. Furthermore, changes to the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) Program include a new regulation effective September 1, 2024. International students enrolled in curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer qualify for a PGWP upon graduation.

However, on a positive note, graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs will now be eligible for a 3-year work permit.

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