Canada Imposes Cap On Admissions, Know The Financial Implications For Indian Students

Canada has capped international student admissions for two years, and also work opportunities for postgraduates. Here are the financial implications for Indian students planning to embark on higher education opportunities in Canada
Canada Imposes Cap On Admissions
Canada Imposes Cap On Admissions

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller recently announced a two-year cap on international student admissions in Canada to address concerns regarding the exploitation of high international student tuition compared to the subpar education provided to the students.

Miller said that this cap would result in a 35 per cent overall reduction in new study visas in 2024, with specific provinces, like Ontario, facing steeper cuts exceeding 50 per cent.

One reason that likely prompted this decision by the Canadian government was the influx of high immigration of international students coupled with a looming housing crisis in Canada, which the Opposition party had also highlighted recently, according to a report in The Indian Express. However, the new cap will not have any effect on those already holding study permits in Canada or those already studying in Canada and trying to extend their study permits.

Work Permit Related Changes & Financial Considerations

With 183,000 Indian students, Canada was the second most popular destination for Indians pursuing education abroad in 2023.

Most students seeking job opportunities and permanent residency in Canada do so by taking admission to Canadian universities for educational courses. Though the path from temporary residency to permanent residency exists, but the scope is very limited.

A study by the Conference Board of Canada has also said that international students spend long periods in Canada without permanent residency, which can increase their vulnerability to exploitation by employers, even to the extent of losing their immigration status.

The study released a year ago also found that 9 per cent of international students who were granted permanent residency status became permanent residents after completing one level of study in Canada, but with no subsequent work permit, whereas 3 per cent of international students became permanent residents after two or more levels of study and no subsequent work permit.

The remaining 88 per cent became permanent residents after a combination of study and post-study work. Incidentally, more international students get a PGWPP permit than other work permits.

Impact Of Miller’s Announcement

Here’s where the next change announced by the Canadian government matters. Miller had on January 22, 2024, announced a prohibition on postgraduate work permits from September 1, 2024 for students in educational institutions employing a private-public model, thus making it tougher for international students to secure work permits.

In the coming weeks, open work permits will be exclusively accessible to spouses of students enrolled in master’s, doctoral, and professional programs, such as medicine and law, Miller announced. This adjustment may reduce the postgraduate opportunities for international students.

Further, Canada had extended a temporary policy where students who have already submitted a study permit application as on December 7, 2023, could work for more than 20 hours per week, but this policy is set to expire on April 30, 2024.

Further, The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of the Canadian government has declared an increase in the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants. International students will now have to show access to CAD 20,635 from the previous amount of CAD 10,000, an increased financial requirement that has now been put in place.

In the backdrop of these recent developments, the reduction in study visas and postgraduate work permits necessitates a re-evaluation of the potential financial benefits for aspiring Indian students seeking to pursue education and work permit in Canada.

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