International Student Allocations for Provinces and Territories

Within the framework of a nationwide cap on study permit applications implemented earlier this year, the Government of Canada has announced the final distribution of international students to provinces and territories for 2024.

The Net Zero Growth Model

The Canadian government made it clear that the goal for 2024 is to keep the number of foreign students entering the country at the same rate as those whose study permits are about to expire. In order to do this, it lowered the aim to 364,000 approved study permits for 2024 from the original 485,000, which would have included an estimated 20% of the students who apply for extensions each year.

The Government of Canada adjusted the goal of 364,000 approved permits, resulting in a cap of 606,000 study permit applications received, considering a nationwide acceptance rate of 60% for research permit applications. It subtracted a projected 140,000 applications from the goal by exempting special groups, such as candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees or students in elementary and secondary schools, from the cap.

Completed Provincial and Territorial Distribution

The Government of Canada detailed how it distributed the 393,000 adjusted study permit applications among the provinces and territories based on their respective population shares. This strategy aimed to restrict regions from experiencing more than a 10% increase compared to 2023, thereby curbing expansion. Meanwhile, provinces anticipating fewer students were given funding to lessen any immediate negative effects.

The Canadian government allocated additional funding to provinces with study permit approval rates below 60% to help them reach their goals for 2024. Consequently, the government distributed approximately 552,000 study permit applications nationwide, expecting to grant a total of 292,000 study permits—a 28% decrease from 2023 for the groups impacted by the cap.

Gazing Forward

The Government of Canada underscored the dynamic nature of these estimates, also highlighting the possibility of volatility due to changes in province capacity, approval rates, and the need for in-year modifications. These results will guide the allocation decisions for 2025, highlighting the importance of continuing cooperation with the provinces and territories to improve the International Student Program and foster the academic achievement of foreign students studying in Canada.