Canada puts a 2-year cap to its international student visas

by Pilar Dujan | January 24, 2024
Canada imposes a 2 year cap on its student visas

On Monday, the Canadian Immigration Minister announced an immediate 2-year cap on the number of student visas issued to foreign citizens. Approximately 360,000 visas are expected to be granted in 2024. However, that represents a 35% reduction compared to last year’s numbers (560,000). The cap will be reassessed by the end of this year to determine the number of visas for 2025.

The reason behind the announcement

What’s the reason for this? According to government officials, this is their way to tackle Canada’s housing crisis. Also, the aim is to target what they called “institutional bad actors”: smaller private colleges that accept a large number of foreign students, but provide bad services, charge high tuition fees and even give fake degrees.

Each province and territory will be able to determine how to distribute their allotted visas amongst the educational establishments in their jurisdiction. It’s expected that some provinces will see a reduction of about 50% in the amount of visas they’re able to give out. The final number will be determined by the population of each province. 

Does this affect the tourist Canada visa?

No. If you wish to travel to Canada for tourism, you’ll still be able to get the ETA Canada without any changes or issues.

The Canada ETA is available for all citizens of eligible nationalities. It allows for multiple entries during its 5-year validity. Each stay can last for a maximum of 6 months.

Read our guide about the Canada entry requirements for more information about what you need to travel to Canada.