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Canadian government announces 2 year limit on international students

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The federal government has announced that they are restricting the amount of international students into Canada over the next two years.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced on Monday, that the federal government will be approving approximately 360,000 undergraduate study permits this year, which is a 35% decrease from 2023.

Critics question the relation of this new announcement to the housing crisis in Canada. In response to this, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Sean Fraser believes that the cap will reduce pressure on the housing crisis. “There is potential after today’s announcement to reduce some of the pressure on the system. However, it does not obviate the need from the federal government to continue to make the investment that is going to grow the supply; which is the long term answer, said Fraser.

Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Marc Miller says, each province and territory will be given a reasonable and fair portion of the total. Additionally, provinces with higher numbers of international student populations can now see a decrease to help sustain the system.

Federal opposition leader Pierre Poilievre blames the Trudeau government for the housing crisis, and said the blame should not fall on international students.

Residents in Brampton – a municipality which has seen a spike of international students in the past few years – say they welcome the new changes by the federal government. 

“There are three international students sharing one room in a rental, how can this be sustainable? … the housing crisis needs urgent attention,” said a Brampton resident while speaking with OMNI.

Rakhi Chaudhary, a former international student believes the limit on international students could prove to be beneficial for those who are planning to study in the Canada in the future. “The cost of living in Canada is not sustainable for those who have paid so much money to study in Canada. There is a lack of infrastructure and housing, the cap is needed for the system to ease pressure,” said Chaudhary.

Jasprit Singh, the founder of International Sikh Student Association welcomes the new rules as well. “There was exploitation of international students that was occurring, many students who graduated from their respective programs could not secure a job, having paid tens of thousands of dollars in international student fees,” said Singh. He hopes this pause will support international students facing exploitation. 

The newly announced cap is set to last two years. This is a developing story. 


 With files from Loveen Gill

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