Will Canada’s two-year cap on new study permits cause students to let go of their dream to study abroad?

Canada has decided to establish a two-year cap on new study permits issued to international students in order to strengthen the integrity of its student visa program. This is expected to have an impact on student intakes in 2024 and 2025 which might lead to a 35 percent reduction in new study permits. However, those pursuing master's or doctoral degrees, existing permit holders, and those seeking permit renewals do not have to worry as they are exempted from these new limitations. Implementation of Cap will reduce the number of visas approved in 2024 to 364,000, 2025 restrictions will be re-evaluated at the end of 2024. 

Approximately 40% of international students admitted to the country in 2023 were Indians. By In 2022, more than 41%, or 225,835 students, were sent to India. Additionally, around 300,000 Indian students traveled to Canada in 2023 alone. In addition to the cap, the government announced, that as of September 1, 2024, students studying in courses delivered through public-private partnerships will not be eligible for a work permit after graduation. This trend is particularly evident in Ontario, which has seen an increase in international enrollment in programs offered through partnerships or licensing in recent years.

The limited number of visas is expected to increase competition for admission, which is expected to place greater pressure on Indian students to perform well academically and in English language proficiency tests. This can exacerbate educational stress and inequality. Rather, it may provide an opportunity for Indian universities and educational institutions to improve their offerings and meet the needs of students who had previously considered Canada. However, this change will not affect current study permit holders or renewals,” said Vipul Jai, partner at PSL Advocates & Solicitors. “The impact of the cap on eligible Indian students is significant. India, which has the highest number of Canadian study permit holders in 2022, is seeing declining admission prospects due 

to caps and certification requirements. Although this plan may create problems for qualified Indian students, it has a positive side for India by acting as a bulwark/guard against brain drain,” said Singhania. 

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