Ontario’s Study Permit Allotments to Prioritize Public Institutions

Various scenes depicting Ontario landscapes, from downtown Toronto towers to Niagara Falls and the rocky hills and beaches of Northern Ontario.

The Ontario government is preparing to announce how international study permit allocations will be shared among the province’s post-secondary institutions. Of the study permits portioned to Ontario post-secondary institutions under the new federal guidelines, 96 percent of study permits will be set aside for public institutions (universities and colleges). The remaining four percent will go to private universities, language schools, and other institutions. Career colleges will not receive any permit allocations.

Have questions about the recent changes to Canada’s International Student Program? Check out the answers to top questions from students and from recruitment professionals on our blog.

Ontario’s Study Permit Allotment Strategy

Earlier today, the Ontario government shared via news release that permits will be assigned based on which institutions provide programs which train students in careers which have a high level of demand. Some of the province’s target fields include:

  • Child care
  • Health care
  • Hospitality
  • Human resources
  • Skilled trades
  • STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math)

The Ontario government will also consider additional factors when setting permit levels. For example, an institution’s 2024 applications cannot be higher than its 2023 permit level. Also, students at that institution with an international study permit “cannot exceed 55 per cent (exclusive of high-demand areas) of the institution’s first-year domestic enrolment.”

However, most public universities’ study permit allotment will stay the same as it was in 2023. 22 out of 23 public universities will keep their current number. Public colleges will see more changes: 11 are keeping the same number of alloted study permits in 2024 that they had in 2023. The other 13 public colleges will be alloted fewer permits than they were in 2023.

These measures were passed by the provincial government of Ontario at a meeting on Wednesday, March 27.

Application documents including a passport and envelope.

Provincial Attestation Letter and Housing Updates

Today’s news release also implied the provincial attestation letter process in Ontario is starting to move forward. It noted (emphasis ours):

To acquire an attestation letter to study in Ontario, students should contact their admissions office at the Ontario postsecondary institution where they have accepted their offer of admission and intend to enrol. Students can also visit the ministry website for more information.

To support incoming students, the provincial government is working with public colleges and universities to ensure housing options are available for new international students. Because housing projects are often long-term, new students should research existing housing options carefully when considering different academic institutions.

Just as a safe place to stay is key to international students’ health and success, the government also shared in the release that over C$32 million is being invested across the province to support students’ mental health.

A white and blue megaphone

Stay tuned to our blog for further updates to Canada’s International Student Program, as well as broader sector trends. As we learn more about how the international student journey will look in fall 2024 and beyond, we’ll share these updates.

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