Canada may set cap on international students amid a housing crisis | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Canada may set cap on international students amid a housing crisis

ByAnirudh Bhattacharya, Toronto
Jan 15, 2024 05:38 AM IST

The Canadian government is planning to put a cap on the number of international students in the country, amid a severe backlash over a housing shortage caused by an increase in migrants.

The Canadian government is planning to put a cap on the number of international students in the country, amid a severe backlash over a housing shortage caused by an increase in migrants.

HT Image
HT Image

“It’s really a system that has gotten out of control,” minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship Marc Miller told CTV News in an interview that was aired on Sunday. “That volume is disconcerting,” he said, referring to the number of international students currently studying in institutes in the country.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

While Miller did not specify the extent of reduction on the intake of international students that the government plans to make, he said: “We have a sense of what those numbers would look like, what the reduction of those numbers look like.”

“Out of courtesy to my colleagues in the provinces, those are discussions that we’re first going to have around the negotiating table,” he said.

The minister’s remarks come at a time housing supply has failed to keep up with Canada’s immigration-fuelled population growth. Housing affordability worsened during the coronavirus pandemic when prices soared due to high demand amid low borrowing costs.

Miller said he will be looking at the possibility of setting a cap on international students to help reduce the demand for housing in both the first and second quarters of this year.

Asked why his government is only considering a cap now when the idea was floated months ago, Miller said there’s a need to sort out numbers on a federal level before looking with “a little more granularity” at what individual academic institutions are doing in different provinces, possibly profiting off bringing in more international students.

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), India is the largest source for international students in Canada. Data available till the end of November 2023 shows that they account for 215,910 of the total of 579,075 (over 37%) international students living in the country.

The figure for the prior year (2022) was 225,835 out of 548,785, or over 41%.

The Canada government began taking measures with regard to international students last year ,when on December 7, the IRCC announced that for new study permit applications received on or after January 1 this year, a single applicant will “need to show they have CA$ 20,635 (approximately 12.7 lakh)”, as against CA$ 10,000 (about 6.14 lakh) earlier.

In October, IRCC had announced that starting December, designated learning institutions or DLIs will be obligated to verify the acceptance letters of each applicant through the IRCC.

“We need to be doing our jobs and making sure that we have a system that actually makes sure people have a financial capability to come to Canada, that we’re actually verifying offer letters,” he said, adding, “And now it’s time for us to have a conversation about volumes and the impact that it is having in certain areas.

A cap on international students would not be a “one-size-fits-all solution” to housing shortages across Canada, Miller noted.

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On