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Changes in the International Education Industry in Canada 🍁

And What They Mean For You…

Hey there, Thrivvers! 🌎 As you probably know, the landscape of international student life in Canada has been undergoing some significant shifts and we want to help you understand them. For that, we sat down with Messia Ditshimba , the Senior Immigration Consultant at MDS Consulting, who shared invaluable insights into the recent immigration updates announced by Minister Marc Miller and what these mean for us.

Messia’s journey to becoming an immigration consultant is a story of resilience, adaptation, and passion. It's a powerful reminder that our paths may not always be a smooth ride, but with determination, we can find our direction. Her transition from law student to immigration expert emphasizes the importance of embracing change and finding a profession you are passionate about. It is because of this passion and her 8 years of experience in the Canadian Immigration field, that we approached her to help us understand the recent changes in the international education industry in Canada.

Key Updates from Minister Marc Miller

In our conversation, Messia highlighted several critical changes impacting the international student community:

  • Two-Year Cap on International Student Permits: A temporary measure aimed at achieving a 35% reduction in international student numbers in 2024. This cap is both province and population-based but makes exceptions for students enrolled in master’s, Ph.D., elementary, and secondary school programs.

  • Provincial Attestation Requirement: Study permit applications now require a provincial attestation for most post-secondary study permit applicants. This letter is a document saying the province is aware that you applied and has counted you as one of the people applying for a permit – adding an extra layer of documentation in the application process.

  • Changes to PGWP Eligibility: Starting September 1, 2024, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will no longer be available for students graduating from programs that involve both public and private institutions. However, starting February 1, 2024, graduates from master’s degree programs that are less than 2 years, who meet all other PGWP eligibility criteria, will be offered a 3-year work permit to help them meet the required Canadian work experience to apply for their permanent residence.

These are significant shifts, emphasizing the importance of understanding where you choose to study.

  • Spousal Work Permit Programs: In the coming weeks, it's expected that open spousal work permit programs will be limited to spouses of students in master's, Ph.D., and professional programs (such as medicine and law). This change narrows the scope for families hoping to work in Canada while pursuing higher education.

Why There’s No Need To Panic 🚫⚠️

Despite these sweeping changes, the message from Messia is clear: there's no need for panic. These updates require us to be more strategic and informed in our decisions. Knowledge remains your most powerful tool. Understanding these changes, reaching out to experts like Messia and the team at MDS Consulting, and carefully planning your education and post-graduation pathways are more crucial than ever.

Why These Changes Are Needed 

These changes signal a new chapter for international education in Canada, a chapter that was much needed as they are a response to many issues that had been lying around for a while in this industry. These are 

  • Lack of accommodation in major cities (like Toronto & Vancouver)

  • Bad agents and service providers

  • Sketchy educational institutions

While more challenges lie ahead, especially for private education providers, the core of what makes Canada an attractive destination for students—the opportunity for growth, learning, and a welcoming community—remains strong. These changes will push the industry to do better for international students in the long run, and will certainly allow Canada to continue being a top destination for students.

You Are Not Alone

As part of the Thrivve family, we're committed to walking this path with you, offering insights, sharing stories, consulting experts in the matter, and lending a hand whenever we can. Whether you're already here or planning your journey to Canada, we're all about fostering a community that informs, supports, and thrives together. Please share this article to help a friend.

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