• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Canada may limit student visas over housing crisis – minister

Canada is considering limiting the number of international student visas, including Nigeria, as one of the options to tackle its housing shortages.

According to Reuters, this was revealed on Monday by Sean Fraser, Canada’s new minister for housing, infrastructure, and communities, while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet retreat in the Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island.

He said the sharp rise in the number of students was putting pronounced pressure on some housing markets.

“I think that is one of the options we should consider. The government has not yet made a decision,” he added.

According to Fraser, the country had temporary immigration programs that were never designed to see such explosive growth in such a short period.

Read also: From January to June 2023, 10,180 Nigerians moved to Canada

Rentals.ca reported that the growing number of students entering Canada has added “further upward pressure” on rents.

It said the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Canada rose to CA$2,078 in July. The priciest flats were in Vancouver, with one-bedroom accommodation averaging CA$ 3000.

Over the past few years, Canada has become a popular destination for international students due to its immigration-friendly policies.

Last year, the Canadian federal government announced an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years.

Data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada shows that the number of study permits issued to Nigerians by Canada rose by 17.8 per cent to 16,195 as of December 31, 2022, from 13,745 in the same period of 2021.

The number of study permits also places Nigeria fifth on the top source countries of new international students that entered Canada.