Canada pulls plug on work permits for international students 3.5 months early

By Doan Hung   March 31, 2024 | 07:32 pm PT
Canada pulls plug on work permits for international students 3.5 months early
A corner of the McGill University in Canada. Photo courtesy of McGill University
Canada has advanced the date from which work permits will not be issued for international students graduating in public-private partnership programs from Sept. 1 to May 15.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said March 22 it was done to prevent schools from advancing their admission dates to preempt the change.

Some schools have announced the academic year will start in either June or August.

Under the public-private partnership, public schools used to admit foreign students and send them to private ones for a fee. The students would get a public school diploma enabling them to apply for work permits after graduating.

But despite the ban now students can apply for other types of work permits such as in sectors lacking human resources.

Ontario province, which has at least 14 schools with public-private partnerships, will be among the most affected, losing around 133,000 international students because of the decision.

Jill Dunlop, head of the Ontario university and college management authority, said 96% of international study permits in Ontario would be reserved for public schools.

Canada has been tightening regulations for international students since October 2023, claiming a rise in immigrant numbers.

It has led to housing shortages and driven up rents, they claimed.

IIRC plans to approve 360,000 new students, 35% fewer than last year, to relieve the burden on housing, healthcare and other services.

Canada is among the top two destinations for international students along with the U.S., partly due to the fact it is easy to get work permits after graduation.

International education fetches the country around US$16 billion every year.

Around 40% of international students are from India and 12% from China. There are 16,000 Vietnamese students.

go to top