Canada has announced that it is examining the admission quota for international students as part of its efforts to address the housing affordability crisis in the country.
The Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, disclosed this during an interview with CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, stating that the move is to tackle “a system that has gotten out of control”.
According to Miller, nearly one million students were admitted to Canada in 2023, a record high, adding that, rent for Canadians rose 22% in the last two years, driven by a persistent housing shortage.
Miller further called the volume of international students arriving into Canada “disconcerting”.
He added that by imposing the limit the demand for housing will reduce, however, did not say how much of a reduction the government is considering.
Miller cautioned that reducing the number of students admitted to Canada is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution to the housing crisis, which he noted is also driven by short supply, affordability challenges and rising interest rates.
“It isn’t immigrants that raised interest rates, but volume is volume and it’s something that we need to look at,” he stated.
Open immigration has long been a cornerstone of Canadian policy, as the country relies on newcomers to address its rapidly-aging workforce.
The country’s population reached a milestone of 40 million in 2023 – an increase driven largely by permanent and temporary immigrants.
At the same time, housing has become increasingly difficult to afford for many. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation – a national housing agency – estimates that the country needs 3.5 million more housing units by 2030 to restore affordability.