New Study Visa Regulations
Answering 6 Frequently Asked Questions About Canada’s New Study Visa Regulations
On January 22nd, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced significant changes to the regulations governing Canada’s new study visas. These changes involve setting a cap on study permits for the year 2024 and introducing a policy mandating international students to secure provincial approval.
With the introduction of these changes, prospective applicants for Canadian study visas have raised numerous questions about the practical implications of these regulations and how they may affect their chances of successfully obtaining a study permit. In this article, we aim to address some commonly asked questions about the recent announcement from the IRCC and provide clarification on the information disseminated by the IRCC thus far.
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Question 1: When do the new changes become effective?
The new changes regarding restrictions on study permits issuance and the requirement for provincial approval became effective on January 22nd. Consequently, only 360,000 study permit applications will be approved until the end of 2024.
Confusion has arisen regarding the process of obtaining approvals from provincial governments, with the federal government instructing provincial authorities to define and publish procedures by March 31, 2024. You can find updates on our website as soon as these procedures are released by provincial governments.
Question 2: I have an acceptance letter and plan to enter Canada soon. Will these changes affect me?
The changes to study visas apply to individuals who submitted their study permit applications after January 22, 2024. Thus, whether these changes impact you depends on the date you submitted your study permit application. If your application postdates January 22, following receipt of your Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), these regulations are applicable; otherwise, your current situation is unaffected.
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Question 3: Do I need to wait until March 31st to submit my study visa application?
The requirement to wait until the end of March to apply for study permits remains uncertain. The responsibility for defining the confirmation issuance process lies with the provinces and territories of Canada.
If the provincial/territorial governments establish this framework by March 31, international students may likely initiate their study permit applications sooner.
Question 4: Are there specific study cases exempt from the new regulations, even if submitted after January 22nd?
According to the IRCC, certain study permit applicants are exempt from these changes, including children attending elementary or secondary school (kindergarten to grade 12), students pursuing post-secondary, graduate, doctoral, or supplementary educational programs, and those seeking renewal or extension of their study permits.
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Question 5: If I plan to change my educational institution in 2024, do I need approval from the IRCC?
The process for changing Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) for international students in the coming year remains unclear. More information on this matter is expected from the IRCC in the coming weeks.
Question 6: Is this change a permanent alteration to Canada’s international student program?
As per the legislation dated January 22, the new international student cap and confirmation process are temporary measures implemented for the next two years. The IRCC has announced a review of the set cap for admitting international students in 2025 at the end of 2024.
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