Canada Plans To Cap The Number Of International Students

Canada Plans To Cap The Number Of International Students

As Canada‘s housing situation worsens, the country is considering limiting the number of overseas students.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller raised concerns over the current volume of international students in the country.

In an interview with CTV News, Miller did not indicate how big the reduction would be if implemented but added there was a need for serious conversation. 

“This is a conversation the federal government will need to have with provincial governments to make sure that the provinces that have not been doing their jobs actually rein in those numbers on a pure volume basis,”

“That volume is disconcerting. It is really a system that has gotten out of control.”

Immigration Minister Marc Miller

As the government relies on newcomers to manage its rapidly aging workforce, open immigration has long been a cornerstone of Canadian policy.

Canada's population grew by more than 430,000 during the third quarter of 2023, which was the fastest in any quarter since 1957. 

The Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had been aiming to bring  485,000 immigrants to Canada in 2024 and 500,000 in both 2025 and 2026. However, the population spurt and an increase in foreign students indicate that the housing sector is nowhere near ready to house the volume. 

In 2023, about one million students were admitted to Canada, a record level.

Meanwhile, rent for Canadians rose 22% in the last two years, driven by a persistent housing shortage.

Canada has attempted to address this matter in several other ways. In 2023, it instated a two-year ban on some foreigners buying homes in Canada.

It also pledged $1bn over three years for its Affordable Housing Fund, which financially supports housing projects across the country.

Impact On International Students

Stricter criteria to limit the number of international students accepted to Canada might have far-reaching consequences. 

On the student front, the proposed reforms may put financial hardship on many prospective students, limiting their access to school. Opportunities for international students to study in Canada may shrink as competition for limited spaces increases, thus reducing the diversity of perspectives within academic institutions. 

The economic ramifications for Canadian schools are significant, as international students contribute significantly to the economy through tuition and living expenditures. Furthermore, a decrease in the number of international students may result in a less diversified academic environment, reducing the cultural richness of Canadian classrooms.

Beyond the immediate impact on students and institutions, the proposed measures could ripple through the Canadian job market, potentially influencing the availability of skilled workers in certain sectors. 

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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