The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, announced today that Canada will reduce the number of international student permits by 35 per cent next year as part of a temporary two-year cap on foreign enrollment.

The cap will cut the number of approved study permits in 2024 to 364,000. The 2025 limit will be reassessed at the end of this year.

He said the move would allow the Government of Canada to address institutions and “bad actors” who are charging exorbitantly high tuition fees for international students, all while increasing the number of international students they are accepting.

Students applying to masters and PhD programs will be exempt from the cap.

Cap space will be allocated by province based on population, meaning some provinces will see a sharper reduction in the number of international students permitted.

Today, Wednesday, November 1, 2023, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (“IRCC”), tabled the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan.  According to the government, the plan is “tailored to support economic growth while balancing with the pressures in areas like housing, healthcare and infrastructure. It charts a responsible course for sustainable and stable population growth”.

Canada will maintain its target of 485,000 permanent residents for 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. Starting in 2026, the government will stabilize permanent resident levels at 500,000, allowing time for successful integration, while continuing to augment Canada’s labour market.

Highlights of the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan include:

  • A continued long-term focus on economic growth, with over 60% of permanent resident admissions dedicated to the economic class by 2025.
  • New Francophone immigration targets to support and strengthen Francophone communities outside of Quebec.
  • Integrating housing, health care and infrastructure planning, along with other important services, into Canada’s immigration levels planning, in close collaboration with provinces, territories and municipalities.
  • Creating a Chief International Talent Officer position to more effectively align immigration programs and pathways with the labour market, including industry and sector strategies.
  • Making the IRCC website more user-friendly, so that applicants can easily find the information they need.

Starting today, Sunday, July 16, 2023, Canada will offer open work permits to any individuals in the United States on an H-1B Specialty Occupations visa.  Canada’s strategy is to lure away highly-educated foreign nationals in the United States who are frustrated by the U.S. immigration process.  In essence, Canada is capitalizing on a growing sense from international students and professionals that settling permanently in the United States is too slow and difficult.

The new recruitment strategy, which Canada unveiled at a North American technology conference held in Toronto last month, is designed to appeal to out-of-work foreign tech-sector workers in the U.S. whose immigration status is now in jeopardy after a recent series of layoffs.

The new open work permit would allow H-1B Specialty Occupations visa holders to move to Canada without a job and look for one once they arrive. The types of foreign nationals who would qualify for the program, Canadian experts say, could also quickly become permanent residents under the country’s merit-based points immigration system.

Without the fast-track program, they would either need to apply for entry under the regular Canadian process or get a Canadian employer to obtain a work permit for them.

The program will last for either one year or until the cap of 10,000 applicants has been reached. This cap is on principal applicants and does not include family members.

If you are an H-1B Specialty Occupations visa holder and are interested in applying for a Canadian open work permit, please send an e-mail to info@akcanada.com to obtain more information about the program and Abrams & Krochak’s related services and legal fees.

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that category-based selection for Express Entry will begin, today, with 500 Express Entry candidates with backgrounds in Health Care occupations to be invited to apply for Permanent Residence and 1,500 on July 5, 2023.  Also, on July 5, 2023, the Government of Canada will be inviting candidates with STEM expertise – including data scientists, software developers and programmers, mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries, and electrical and electronics engineers – with a view to help Canada’s science and technology sector, by bringing in the skilled talent that businesses need to drive innovation and achieve their growth potential.

To be eligible for Category-Based Selection, an applicant must

  • have accumulated, within the past 3 years, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in a single occupation listed in the table below
  • meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round

Full eligibility details will be available in the instructions for each round.

The full list of Health Care occupations appears below:

Audiologists and speech language pathologists
Dieticians and nutritionists
Education counsellors
General practitioners and family physicians
Instructors of persons with disabilities
Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment
Licensed practical nurses
Massage therapists
Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
Medical laboratory technologists
Medical radiation technologists
Medical sonographers
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
Nurse practitioners
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
Occupational therapists
Other assisting occupations in support of health services
Other practitioners of natural healing
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
Paramedical occupations
Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
Specialists in surgery
Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists


The full list of STEM occupations appears below:

Architecture and science managers
Business systems specialists
Civil Engineers
Computer and information systems managers
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Computer systems developers and programmers
Cybersecurity specialists
Data scientists
Database analysts and data administrators
Electrical and electronics engineers
Engineering managers
Industrial and manufacturing engineers
Information systems specialists
Land surveyors
Landscape Architects
Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
Metallurgical and materials engineers
Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers
Software developers and programmers
Software engineers and designers
Urban and land use planners
Web designers
Web developers and programmers