Canada releases study permit allocations and targets for 2024

With a focus on ensuring a sustainable environment for incoming international students and safeguarding the welfare of local communities, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced the national cap allocation and study permit targets for the year 2024. The announcement was made last 5 April, after months of anticipation and speculation surrounding the implementation of Canada’s new cap on international student enrolment. 

Overview of 2024 study permit allocations and targets 

The Canadian government’s decision to impose a two-year cap on the issuance of new study permits in January 2024 hastened Minister Miller’s recent announcement. By setting a target of 485,000 approved study permits initially set for 2024, adjustments were made to account for various factors influencing student migration patterns. The government aims to align the number of incoming international students with the capacity of educational institutions and local communities to provide quality education and support services. 

Adjustments for optimal allocation 

Adjustments and considerations were also made to the target study permit numbers, taking into account various factors, including the number of expiring study permits and extension applications. Minister Miller emphasised the importance of ensuring that the allocation of study permits reflects the evolving needs and priorities of both international students and Canadian communities.  


Minister Miller explained that around 20% of students apply for extensions annually, leading to a deduction of 97,000 permits from the initial target. Additionally, exemptions for certain student groups, such as primary and secondary school students and master’s or doctoral degree students, necessitated further revisions. These adjustments resulted in a revised target of 364,000 approved study permits which translates into a cap of 606,000 study permit applications received for 2024.  


Moreover, the government anticipates a slightly lower approval rate of around 53% for 2024, compared to the historical average of 60%. This adjustment is part of a proactive approach to manage approval rates in a manner that fosters sustainable growth and supports the successful integration of international students into the country. 

Allocation strategy for provinces and territories  

The allocation strategy for provinces and territories is designed to distribute study permit applications based on population share with adjustments made to accommodate provinces.  Notably, provinces and territories experiencing growth were capped at a 10% increase compared to 2023, while those facing declines received adjusted allocations to mitigate negative impacts in the first year.  Furthermore, additional allocations were provided to provinces with lower approval rates to guarantee they reach their expected number of approved study permits in 2024.  

Promoting access and mitigating impacts 

The newly implemented approach for incoming international students aims to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities across the country while mitigating any potential negative impacts on local communities. 


Minister Miller’s allocation model accounts for various variables that may influence the influx of international students in 2024 with potential adjustments throughout the year. As the government remains committed to collaboratively strengthening the International Student Program and providing necessary support for international students to thrive in Canada, these insights will inform decisions on allocations for 2025.  

Flexibility and continued support 

Looking ahead, Minister Miller emphasised the importance of flexibility in responding to changing circumstances and needs. The insights gained from the 2024 allocation process will inform future decisions on international study in Canada. 


The Canadian Immigration Minister’s unveiling of the 2024 study permit allocations and targets marks a pivotal moment in Canada’s efforts to manage international student enrolment while also prioritising the continued success of its education system. With careful planning and proactive measures, the government aims to strike a balance between welcoming international students and maintaining the quality of education and integrity of its immigration policies. 


To know more about the opportunities available for international students and updates about education in Canada, check out our blog or reach out to our North American team at [email protected].

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