Canada's decision setting 2-year cap on int'l students may affect around 30,000 Pinoys

At least 30,000 Filipinos looking for opportunities to study in Canada are expected to be affected by the decision of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to reduce the number of students entering the country in the next two years.

The IRCC decision, which was announced on Jan. 22, stated a two-year cap on international students which will reduce the numbers by 35 percent this year and that many institutions will no longer grant a post-graduation work permit and an open work permit for spouses.

Many Filipinos use education in Canada as a study pathway to gain a permanent residency in Canada, especially that prior to the decision, those who are granted study permits can bring along their spouses or even common law partners who can become part of the Canadian labor force through the open work permit for spouses.

Aside from the cap or limit the Canadian government plans to impose, other implementations include:

•       Study permits will be allocated based on each province’s population;

•       Effective immediately, affected students must provide a provincial attestation letter as part of their study permit application;

•        As of September 1, students attending public-private partnership institutions will no longer be able to access post-graduation work permits or their permits to be part of the labor force of Canada. 

According to the Canadian government, the recent pronouncements are part of efforts to stabilize the growth of international students in Canada. 

Despite the decision, the educational technology platform ApplyBoard said there are still thousands of Filipino applicants who choose to work around these changes to explore opportunities in Canada. 

“These recent pronouncements are not meant to deter the applications of international students in Canada but to evenly distribute opportunities and resources in Canada since the government is trying to solve problems with housing,” said ApplyBoard Associate for Asia Sales Saif Iqbal.

According to ApplyBoard, there are still job opportunities in Canada for everyone. 

“As of the second quarter of 2023, Canada has 780,200 job vacancies. These are the industries that need laborers- healthcare and social assistance; accommodation and food services; retail trade; construction and; manufacturing,” said Iqbal.

In their upcoming Study in Canada Fair this February 9 and 10, more than 7,000 attendees have signed up. This is a 50 percent increase from the expected attendees last year.