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Federal Government Announces Cap on International Student Permits to Address Housing Concerns and Institutional Misconduct

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The Nation Post

In a significant policy shift aimed at regulating the influx of international students and ensuring educational quality, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced on Monday that the federal government will implement a cap on the number of student permits issued over the next two years.

Key Points of the Announcement

1. Permit Cap for 2024 and 2025

The government plans to approve approximately 360,000 undergraduate study permits for 2024, marking a 35% reduction from the previous year. This cap is set to be reassessed at the end of this year for 2025.

2. Provincial Distribution Based on Population

Each province and territory will receive a portion of the total permits, with significant decreases in regions experiencing unsustainable growth in international student populations.

3. Focus on Institutional Accountability

The initiative targets small private colleges that have been criticized for exploiting international students through under-resourced campuses and high tuition fees, without providing adequate student support.

4. New Attestation Letter Requirement:

International students will now need an attestation letter from a province or territory as part of their permit application process.

5. Changes to Work Permit Program

Alterations to the post-graduation work permit program include the exclusion of students in curriculum licensing arrangements from eligibility and the introduction of a three-year work permit for master’s and short graduate-level program graduates.

6. Addressing Housing Market Concerns

This move is expected to alleviate some pressure on the housing market, particularly in areas with high numbers of international students.

7. Responses from Political Leaders and Experts

The announcement has sparked a range of reactions. While some applaud the decision for bringing rationality to the number of international students, others express concerns about its impact on talented students seeking better opportunities.

8. Provincial Engagement

Provinces like Ontario and Nova Scotia have acknowledged the need to assess the impact of these changes and the importance of cracking down on predatory practices in education.

In his statement, Minister Miller emphasized, “This measure is not against individual international students, but rather a step to ensure they receive the quality education they expect and deserve.”

This policy change comes in response to growing public concern about the impact of international student numbers on housing markets and the actions of certain educational institutions. The government’s approach aims to balance the needs of the housing market, the quality of education, and the overall well-being of international students in Canada.

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