In the face of a housing shortage, Canada is weighing the possibility of imposing a cap on the number of international students residing in the country, as revealed by Marc Miller, Immigration Minister in a recent interview with CTV.
This move comes amid growing concerns about housing affordability and criticisms directed at the government. Canada, known for relying on immigration to fuel its economy and support an aging population, has witnessed an upsurge in migrants and international students, intensifying the demand for homes.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, advocating for increased annual immigration, finds his government grappling with a housing crisis attributed to the surge in population and international students, coinciding with a slowdown in construction due to inflation. Miller, in a candid discussion with CTV Question Period, disclosed that the Liberal government is contemplating a cap on international students during the first and second quarters of this year.
“That volume is disconcerting,” remarked Miller regarding the current influx of international students in Canada. “It’s really a system that has gotten out of control.” However, specific details on the magnitude of the reduction in international students remain undisclosed. Miller’s spokesperson was unavailable for immediate comment.
Official data indicates a substantial increase in the number of foreign students with active visas, soaring from 275,000 in 2012 to over 800,000 in 2022, according to Reuters. The interview with Miller is scheduled to air on Sunday, shedding light on the government’s considerations and potential strategies.*
Canada, renowned as a favoured destination for international students due to its relative ease in obtaining work permits, had previously hinted at the idea of capping foreign student visas in August. Housing Minister Sean Fraser clarified at that time that no conclusive decision had been made.
In his commitment to addressing the issue, Miller expressed intentions to engage with provincial counterparts. The housing predicament has significantly impacted the popularity of Trudeau’s Liberals, with polls indicating a decline in public support after over eight years in office. The official opposition, led by Pierre Poilievre, has seized on the housing matter, criticizing the government’s management of the situation.