Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently introduced significant changes to Canada’s international student program, impacting study permit approvals for 2024 and introducing a new provincial attestation letter requirement for study permit applications. If you’re a prospective international student, you likely have some questions about how these changes will affect you. In this article, we’ll address some of the common queries and provide clarity on the details shared by IRCC.
When Do the Changes Take Effect?
The new study permit cap and attestation letter process came into effect on January 22nd. This means that, for the remainder of the year, only 360,000 study permit applications will be approved. However, the process for provincial and territorial governments to issue attestation letters is still being finalized, with a deadline of March 31st.
Do These Changes Affect My Plans to Arrive in Canada Soon?
If you haven’t submitted your study permit application before January 22nd, 2024, these changes will apply to you, even if you have a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
Do I Have to Wait Until March 31st to Apply for My Study Permit?
As of now, it’s uncertain whether international students need to wait until the end of March to apply for their study permits. Provinces and territories are working to establish a process for issuing attestation letters, and if they finalize it before March 31st, students may be able to apply sooner.
Are Some Study Permit Applications Exempt from the Changes?
Yes, certain applications are not subject to these changes. This includes minor children attending primary or secondary school, students enrolling in master’s, PhD, or other post-graduate programs, and those renewing or extending their study permits.
What About Changing Educational Institutes in 2024?
The process for international students who want to change their DLIs in the coming year is unclear at this time. More guidance from IRCC may be provided as the year progresses.
Is This a Permanent Change?
No, these changes are temporary and are set to be in effect for the next two years. IRCC will reassess the cap on international students for 2025 at the end of this year.
These changes aim to address current challenges and ensure the integrity of Canada’s international student program. Stay tuned for updates and further details from IRCC.