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Nova Scotia caps international study permits at 12,900 for the year

By Jacob Moore Mar 28, 2024 | 11:51 AM

Nova Scotia’s international study permit applications will be capped at 12,900 this year, which is about 7000 less than last year.

The province will hold back 99 applications for some flexibility with students’ circumstances and programs, the provincial government writes in a news release.

“We’ve taken a thoughtful approach to allocating the federal cap across the province, considering many factors like enrolment in our high-needs programs and managing growth in communities. That said, we will continue to advocate for a greater allocation from the federal government,” writes Brian Wong, minister of advanced education, in the release.

The government made the announcement on Thursday.

The permits will go to 32 designated institutions, meaning schools approved to accept international students. Those include:

  • 11,565 to the province’s 10 universities and Nova Scotia Community College
  • 710 to a dozen private career colleges
  • 526 to nine language schools

Students will now require a letter of attestation form the provincial government when they apply for study permits. Schools will request the letter on behalf of students, the provincial government says, and the letter would say the student is allowed to study in the province within the study permit cap.

Any student currently studying in the province or planning to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree do not need the attestation letter, according to the release.

The province also has a one-year agreement with universities, which was announced last month. The agreements says schools have to crate international student sustainability plans that outline how students are recruited, where they will live and how they will be “connected to the labour market.”

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada announced the changes to international study permits on Jan. 22. The province says it was notified of its allocated permits on Feb. 9.

The federal government says in a January news release that they want the study permit cap to “stabilize growth for a period of two years.

“For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35 [per cent] from 2023,” the federal government writes in the release.

In October 2023, international students made up about 32 per cent of university enrolment and 11 per cent of college enrolment, according to statistics from the provincial government.