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Canada announces two-year cap on international student visas

In a major development, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller has unveiled a ground-breaking policy imposing a two-year limit on international student admissions. Addressing a press conference in Ottawa, Miller stated that this move aims to address what he views as an exploitative system, where high international student tuition often results in subpar education.

The new cap will lead to a 35% overall reduction in new study visas this year, with specific provinces, including Ontario, facing even more substantial cuts exceeding 50%.

Effective September 1, the government will also prohibit students in institutions employing a private-public model from obtaining postgraduate work permits. This measure is expected to regulate post-study work opportunities and ensure fairness in the system.

Additionally, in the coming weeks, open work permits will be exclusively accessible to spouses of students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs, as well as professional programs like medicine and law.

Minister Miller emphasised the federal government’s commitment to collaborating with provinces, acknowledging that progress in rectifying the issues in the immigration system may not have been as swift as desired.

The announcement comes amidst a heightened focus on immigration to Canada, with concerns raised about its impact on the ongoing housing crisis. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre weighed in, stating, “If you have more families coming than you have housing for them, it’s going to inflate housing prices,” hinting at potential

immigration caps if the Conservatives are elected. Poilievre emphasized the need to align immigration numbers with available housing, healthcare resources, and job opportunities, framing it as a crucial step for maintaining balance in the nation’s growth.

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