To contend with ongoing housing shortages, the federal government announced it will be limiting the number of international students in 2024 and 2025 by a minimum of 35 per cent, with some provinces, including Ontario, seeing up to 50 per cent reductions. The two-year cap comes after months of mounting pressure by the provinces to limit non-permanent residents due to a critical lack of available housing and infrastructure.
Data shows that more than 800,000 international students were issued temporary study visas in 2022, and according to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, 2023’s numbers were on track to be more than triple the number of foreign students accepted to Canadian colleges and universities 10 years ago. In Monday’s announcement, the minister said he hopes the two-year cap will give the federal and provincial governments enough time to address a system that has been “taking advantage of high international student tuition” without providing the proper supports.
The federal government currently opens its doors to up to 500,000 new permanent residents per year, but there is no limit on the number of non-permanent residents, which includes temporary workers and international students. While in Canada, most temporary residents require affordable rental accommodations near their place of work or study, and this influx of tenants has contributed to critically low vacancy rates.
The newly announced cap will cut the number of approved study permits in 2024 to 364,000, and in 2025, the limit will be reassessed according to pending data.