Canada Updated Rules for International Students in 2024

Canada has long been a top destination for international students, offering a rich academic experience and a diverse culture. With its welcoming environment, excellent academic institutions, and opportunities for post-graduation work, Canada continues to attract students from around the world. However, recent years have seen a surge in the number of international students arriving in the country, leading to concerns about the integrity of the student visa system and its impact on various services. As a response, the Government of Canada has introduced new measures to ensure the well-being and success of international students while stabilizing the overall number of students arriving and alleviating pressures on housing, health care, and other services in the country.

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Here is a quick look at a few of the new rules:

As international students plan to study in Canada, several new measures have been introduced that may impact their academic pursuits. Here’s an overview of the changes:

Cap on the Number of International Students Coming to Canada:

Canada has placed a temporary federal cap on visas for international students, reducing the number of permits by about 35% and the limit for the cap for 2025 will be decided by the end of 2024.

Canada will not accept more than 606,250 in 2024, intending to grant only 360,000 new study permits this year.

The study permit cap primarily affects undergraduate programs like bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Master’s and Ph.D. programs are exempt from the cap, making them a more competitive option. In light of the current circumstances, if you choose to pursue a graduate degree, diploma in Canada, look for universities with easy admissions and high acceptance rates to increase your chances of receiving a study permit.

New Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) Requirement:

Most new study permit applications submitted after January 22, 2024, need to provide a provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory where they plan to study. The PAL process is expected to be in place by March 31, 2024.

Changes to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility Criteria:

  • Commencing from September 1, 2024, international students embarking on study programs offered by private colleges delivering licensed curricula will no longer qualify for PGWPs.
  • Starting February 15, 2024, those who complete a master’s degree program in less than 2 years will soon be eligible to apply for a 3-year work permit.

Spousal Open Work Permit Eligibility Change:

Open work permits will only be offered to spouses of international students pursuing master’s and doctorate degrees. Spouses of international students at other levels of study will no longer be eligible.

Cost of Living Information:

The new cost of living requirement of $20,635(previously $10,000), on top of the first year’s tuition and travel expenses for Canada study permits, has come into effect for all applicants applying on or after January 1, 2024. The number of accompanied family members with an international student raises the required living expenses.


These new rules are aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the Canadian student visa system, ensuring the well-being of international students, and creating a sustainable path forward for their academic endeavors in Canada. Prospective international students need to be aware of these updates and plan their applications accordingly to have a smooth and successful study experience in Canada.

By staying informed and understanding these new regulations, international students can better prepare for their academic journey in Canada, ensuring a positive and enriching experience while abiding by the updated requirements.