Canada to Halt Study Permits for Universities Failing to Monitor International Student Enrollment

Canada North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Jul 11, 2024


The Canadian government is planning to halt processing study permits for post-secondary students if institutions do not manage to properly control international student numbers.

Additionally, under the proposal, higher education institutions will need to report to the Immigration Department about students’ attendance, and whether the latter are adhering to study permit criteria, reports.

The department is responsible for processing study permit applications for international students enrolled in designated learning institutions (DLIs), which are schools approved by the provincial or territorial government to accept international students.

According to the plan published in the Canada Gazette, students will also need to apply for a new study permit when they decide to change schools.

“In the baseline scenario, although IRCC requires that students notify them when they change DLIs, students are not required to submit a new study permit application if they wish to switch DLIs. The regulatory amendments would require that students obtain a new study permit when they wish to transfer to a new DLI,” the government’s notice reads.

Under the current rules, international students can change their designated institution anytime. In its notice, the government said that based on DLI compliance reports, nearly 5 percent of students switch their institutions yearly.

Moreover, the proposed regulations would increase the number of hours international students are allowed to work off-campus during regular semesters from 20 to 24.

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for international students to pursue education, alongside the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Last year, there were more than one million international students with active study permits in Canada, up from 352,305 in 2015.

Data from Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC) showed that the number was nearly 10 percent higher than the 950,000 students the government had expected for 2023.

India and China are the two main sources of international students, making up half of the international student body in Canada, with 427,085 and 101,150, respectively.

Canadian institutions also witnessed an increase in students from the Philippines, from 32.455 in 2022 to 48,870 in 2023, and those from Nigeria, from 21,555 to 45,965 in 2023. Moreover, the number of Nepalese students nearly tripled in one year.

Most international students settle in Ontario, known as the most populous province in the country. The proportion of international students in the province increased from 49 percent in 2021 to 51 percent in 2023.

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