Alarm as Canada Mulls Cap on International Students

Kenyan students may soon be thrown into limbo following news that the Canadian government is considering imposing a cap on the number of international students immigrating into the country.

Reports from CTV, a Canadian media outlet, the Canadian government has cited a housing crisis in the country due to the huge number of immigrants witnessed.

Canadian Immigration Minister, Marc Miller during an interview, stated that the government would be looking to issue the cap in the next two quarters of the year.  

“That volume is disconcerting,” Miller said, about the number of international students in Canada. “It’s really a system that has gotten out of control”, Miller stated.

Photo collage of a town in Canada and travellers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).


Expedia/ KAA

An influx of both permanent and temporary immigrants is said to have caused the housing crisis with temporary residents, largely comprised of international students and migrant workers.

Data from the Canadian government revealed that more than 300,000 temporary immigrants arrived in Canada in just the third quarter of last year.

While discussing the issue, it has emerged that the idea of introducing the cap was conceived earlier on, in August 2023, however, it was not enforced.

 However, the minister, Miller, has now stated that the government will consider the matter seriously emphasising that the time to handle the conversation is now.

“And now it’s time for us to have a conversation about volumes and the impact that that is having in certain areas.”

Despite the cap on international students, the minister hinted at further action, citing  “A cap on international students would not be a “one-size-fits-all solution” to housing shortages across Canada, Miller noted.

In recent times, Canada has become a preferred destination for Kenyan immigrants with more numbers moving into the country.

According to data from the ICEF Monitor, a platform that provides data on international education, Canadian institutions enrolled 2,310 Kenyans in 2022, up 12% compared with 2019, a number which increased in 2023.

Kenyan students, particularly those who received their KCSE results in January 2024, may have to reconsider their options for studying in the country if the cap is introduced. 

A photo of several asylum seekers on the streets of Canada


Richard Lautens/Toronto Star

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