top of page

All You Need to Know About The International Student Cap

In a significant update that has stirred concerns among prospective international students, Canada has introduced new measures to its international student program. The changes, which are aimed at ensuring the integrity and sustainability of the system, have raised questions and fears within the student community. This blog post delves into these changes, providing a comprehensive analysis to help students navigate this new landscape.


"This new update really scares me" - Max Medyk

What Happened

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced a substantial 35% decrease in the number of approved study permits for 2024, equating to around 360,000 permits. This cap is part of an effort to stabilize the growth of the international student population and to ensure that incoming students receive the necessary support to succeed in Canada.

The Implications of the Cap

This cap will not only limit the number of new students but also place a strain on certain provinces and territories where international student populations have seen substantial growth. The distribution of this cap will be managed provincially, with each region allocating its share among designated learning institutions. One of the biggest challenges will be implementing this cap effectively while ensuring that the actual number of students arriving in Canada aligns with these new limits.

Changes to Post-Graduation Work Permit Eligibility

Starting September 1, 2024, students enrolled in programs under curriculum licensing arrangements with private colleges will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit. Additionally, graduates of master’s and short graduate-level programs will now be eligible for a 3-year work permit, a significant change from the current criteria.

Restriction on Spousal Open Work Permits

In a move that is likely to impact many families, open work permits will soon be limited to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. This change means that spouses of students in undergraduate and college programs will no longer be eligible for these permits.

What This Means For You

For prospective international students, these changes signify a more competitive environment for securing a study permit. Students are advised to ensure their applications are as strong as possible and to consider prioritizing master or graduate-level programs. It's also crucial to look into programs that lead to permanent residency, given the changing landscape of work permit eligibility.

What You Can/Could/Should Do Now

For those planning to study in Canada, it is essential to stay informed and prepare accordingly. Ensuring a robust study permit application, focusing on graduate-level programs, and considering pathways to permanent residency are key steps. Additionally, prospective students should use resources like the PR indicator tool to understand how their chosen program could affect their future residency prospects in Canada.


These recent changes to Canada's international student program reflect the government's efforts to balance the needs of international students with the sustainability of its educational and social systems. While they pose new challenges, informed planning and strategic decision-making can help prospective students navigate this new landscape successfully.

For further guidance and to avoid mistakes in navigating Canada's changing immigration landscape, click the button below for more resources and legal support.

12 views0 comments


bottom of page