The federal government has announced that there will be a cap on the number of post-secondary international student applications in Canada for two years. 

It is expected that there will be a decrease of 35 per cent in study permit approvals in the nation for 2024. The federal government says they will reassess how many permits will be approved for 2025 at the end of 2024. 

Some concerns centre around the availability of housing and health care, as well as some institutions using international students for revenue purposes. 

In a news release issued on Jan. 22, Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship had this to say on the situation: 

“Today, we are announcing additional measures to protect a system that has become so lucrative that it has opened a path for its abuse. Enough is enough. Through the decisive measures announced today, we are striking the right balance for Canada and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system while setting students up for the success they hope for.” 

Provinces and territories will now need to implement a process to provide attestation letters for every study permit application that is sent to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.  

The new rules do not apply to those who already have study permits.  

Saskatchewan Polytechnic previously announced in October of 2023 that they saw a 60 per cent increase in their international student population from 2022, with 3,199 international students in their programs across the province. Saskatchewan Polytechnic saw a total student enrolment of 11,463 last year. 

They were asked to comment on the situation, and provided the following statement: 

“Saskatchewan Polytechnic is currently assessing the implications of [Monday’s] federal government announcement on prospective international students. 

Sask Polytech can’t speculate on how this announcement may impact future international student enrolment. We will continue to work with Government of Saskatchewan and other post-secondary education partners to better understand next steps in welcoming the next cohort of international students to our campuses.”