Canada’s New Two-year Cap is a Blessing in Disguise for International Students – Here’s How

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two year cap canada

The honourable Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced that the Government of Canada will impose a two-year cap on the study permit applications of international students. The move aims to stabilize the new growth of the international student population in Canada for two years. For the year 2024, the cap is expected to result in the approval of 360,000 applications, which is a decrease of 35% as compared to 2023. This cap is a temporary measure for 2024 and 2025. The following article will guide you through the complete details about how this cap will work with international students.

two year cap canada
Credit: Immigration News Canada

Highlights of New Cap and Changes for International Students Announced by the Canadian Government 

Check below the listed new cap and changes introduced for international students:

  • The government of Canada has introduced a cap for international students for two years to regulate growth. As a result of the cap approximately 364000 study permits will be issued for 2024.
  • The cap will exclude students of master’s, doctorate, and elementary and secondary.
  • There is no change for current study permit holders and also renewals of study permits will not be impacted.
  • International students who will start their study program on or after 1st Septemeber, 2024 from any private or public institution will not be eligible for PGWP.
  • In the coming days, only spouses of international master’s and doctoral students will be eligible for open work permits.

Check the Best Colleges in Canada for International Students

Changes to Post Graduation Work Permit Rules

Check below the changes introduced to post-graduate work permits:

  • Along with the cap introduction, some changes have also been introduced to the eligibility criteria for the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). From 1st September 2024, international students who are engaged in study programs under curriculum licensing arrangements will not be qualified for PGWP. 
  • The government of Canada has introduced a positive change for master’s degree holders and other short-level graduates applying for PGWP. They will be allowed to apply for a 3-year work permit.

The Cap will affect each Province Differently

Study permits will be issued as per each province’s population. The permits will further be distributed among the designated learning institutions in the province.

To implement the cap, every study permit submitted will require an attestation letter from a province or territory. Provinces and territories will release a process for issuing attestation letters to students by no later than 31st March 2024.

Work Permits for Spouses will be limited

In the coming days, IRCC will announce more updates related to open work permits for the spouses of international students. These open work permits will only be available to the spouses of international students pursuing Master’s and doctoral programs. 


  • Renewals of study permits will not be affected
  • The students who are currently holding study permits will have no impact

Check out the jobs in Canada with a work permit

How will the New Laws Benefit International Students?

Check below the listed benefits for International students with this two-year cap introduced:

  • Graduates of master’s degree programs will soon be eligible for a 3-year work permit. Earlier the length of a post-graduation work permit was based on the candidate’s study program and they were allowed for a 1-year work permit.
  • Capping has opened more career opportunities for the spouses of international students by restricting open work permits.

For more details, you can refer to the complete video given below by Immigration Minister Miller announcing the revisions to the immigration laws in Canada.

Credit: CTV News

Check the Requirements to Study in Canada 2024


What is the meaning of the cap on international students?

The cap on international students means that Canada will only accept 360000 students in the years 2024 and 2025.

Are international students allowed to work in Canada after a work year?

The candidates are allowed to work until and unless they are enrolled in a full-time study program. They are also not allowed to work before and after breaks during the term.

What are the new rules in Canada for international students?

From 1st September 2024 candidates who are enrolled in a program that is a part of the curriculum of the licensing agreement will not be eligible for a postgraduation work permit.

Is Canada stopping issuing post-study work permits to international students? 

No, the Canadian government has not stated that they will stop issuing post study work permits to international students. However, they have halted post study work permits for institutes involved in Public College Private Partnership (PCPP or PPP). For instance, Niagara College’s on-the-lakes campus is a public college where students will receive a post study work permit. On the other hand, their Toronto campus is a PPP institute, and students won’t be eligible for a work permit there. Therefore, the candidates are suggested to choose their shortlisting wisely.

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We hope you now understand how the two-year cap introduced by the government of Canada will work for international students, etc. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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