Team Blitz India
Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller recently announced a temporary two-year cap on the issuance of new study permits for international students, effective 2024 and 2025.
The measure will lead to a significant 35 per cent reduction in new study permits compared to the previous year. Canada is among the top countries for Indian students and the new policy will impact them adversely. Not only will the constrained number of visas intensify competition, it will also exacerbate educational stress and inequalities.
The number of approved study permits for 2024 will reduce to 364,000 with Canada’s imposed cap. A reassessment is planned for 2025. Notably, students applying for master’s and Ph.D. programmes are exempt from this limitation.
In 2023, almost 40 per cent of international students permitted in Canada were of Indian origin, and over 41 per cent of all permits in 2022 were granted to Indian students. In 2023 alone, approximately 300,000 Indian students chose Canada as their destination for higher education.
Existing study permit holders and renewals remain unaffected by this change. However, for qualified Indian students, the cap introduces challenges by limiting acceptance prospects and requiring attestation letters.
Minister Miller, addressing a press conference, emphasised that the move aims to address the exploitative nature of high tuition fees charged by institutions. These measures are crucial to ensuring the quality of education for future students arriving in Canada, he said.
Additionally, the government has announced that, starting September 1, 2024, students in programmes delivered through public-private partnerships will no longer be eligible for post-graduate work permits. This decision seeks to address concerns related to some private institutions exploiting international students through under-resourced campuses and high tuition fees.
From the perspective of brain drain, which India has been fighting to stem, the visa cap is a blessing in disguise. It presents opportunities for Indian universities to elevate their offerings and attract students who might have previously considered going to Canada.