Following the announcement by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on January 22nd, the department has now established a cap on the total number of study permit applications it will consider throughout 2024.
As outlined in ministerial instructions from IRCC, a maximum of 606,250 study permit applications will be taken into consideration in 2024. This cap is distinct from the one previously mentioned on January 22nd, which specifically pertained to approved study permit applications (set at 360,000).
These new instructions focus on the total number of applications that IRCC will review in 2024. Over the next 11 months, the department will process up to 606,250 applications, irrespective of the final decision on each application.
Additionally, the instructions note that this cap on study permits may be subject to amendment in line with subsequent instructions from the minister. This suggests that if the 360,000 approved application cap is not met within the processing limit of 606,250 applicants, the minister may adjust the latter number accordingly.
Comparison with 2023: In 2023, Canada approved 579,075 study permit applications out of a total of 814,317 processed applications between January and November. This yielded an approval rate of 71%. The limits set for 2024 represent significant reductions in both processing and approvals for study permit applications.
Implementation of the New Study Permit Cap: The cap on study permit approvals (360,000) will be distributed among Canada’s provinces, weighted by their respective populations. Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, being the three most populous provinces, are expected to receive the highest study permit allocations.
This policy will be executed through attestation letters, requiring applicants to have a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from their designated learning institution (DLI) and an attestation letter from the province where the DLI is located. Attestation letters, according to ministerial instructions, must be provided by the provincial/territorial government and include the applicant’s full name, date of birth, and address.