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Language students are welcome in Canada and should submit their visitor visa applications now to benefit from faster processing by the Government of Canada

A message to students, families, and education agents worldwide.

Last month, the government of Canada announced an intake cap on international student permit applications, and, in effect, imposed a moratorium on study permit application processing until Canadian provinces can implement an attestation process.

Why is that good news for international students looking to study English or French in Canada?

  • First, it’s important to know that a study permit is NOT required to attend short-term language programs in Canada. International students can study English or French in Canada for less than 6 months on a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on their country of origin. In fact, over 100,000 students come to Canada each year on TRVs or eTAs.
  • Second, from now until at least the end of March, while the government of Canada isn’t processing study permit applications (or very few), more IRCC resources are available to process other visa applications, meaning that short-term language students applying for TRVs and eTAs will benefit from faster processing.

Remember, there are no restrictions on visitor visas (TRV or eTA) to Canada. In fact, according to Destination Canada, an estimated 21.2 million international visitors will set foot in Canada in 2024. In 2025, that number is expected to reach 23.5 million!

Similarly, there is NO CAP on short-term English or French language students coming to Canada on TRVs or eTAs, or students on work permits like the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

So, Canada remains open and ready to welcome international language students. Now is the time to submit visitor visa applications!

Here are just some of the reasons to learn English or French in Canada:

  • Choose from a variety of flexible programs that meet your specific needs

  • Experience Canada’s culture, values, and way of life
  • Learn and socialize with students from different cultures
  • Explore the many attractions and natural beauty that Canada has to offer
  • Live with a Canadian family during your studies

What you should also know about Canada’s new international student policies:

  • Existing applications already in the IRCC study permit inventory prior to January 22, 2024, will be processed using the rules they were received under - i.e., they will not be subject to caps.
  • Exempted groups from the cap include students applying to K-12 schools, graduate students (master’s or PhD level), those applying for study permit extensions, and dependents of study or work permit holders or permanent residents.
  • The cap is being implemented as a temporary measure, in place for two years. The number of new study permit applications that will be accepted in 2025 will be reassessed at the end of this year. The effectiveness of these measures will be evaluated, focusing on numbers, system integrity, and long-term sustainability. The impact on the labour market will also be considered.

Have questions? Please contact Diego Sanchez, Languages Canada Director of International Affairs.