April 7, 2024

Allocation of Study Permits | IRCC – Canada

A lot of people are interested in learning about the allocation of study permits in Canada for 2024, especially those who are considering studying abroad. Recently, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unveiled the process by which it assigns study permits to each province and territory. This article explores the intricacies of this allocation mechanism and clarifies how it impacts various areas of the country.

Explaining the Allocation of Study Permits Methodology

The allocation of study permits across the country is made equally equitable by the IRCC, which bases its decision on the population of each province and territory. To reduce inequalities and ensure that international students have equitable access to education, the department does, nevertheless, make changes. The distribution method is carefully designed to balance the number of students entering various regions while taking into account the particular demands and conditions of each province. The International Relations and Cultural Centre (IRCC) seeks to create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for foreign students who are studying in Canada. To this end, it combines population-based criteria with strategic modifications. The government’s dedication to advancing diversity and quality in Canadian education while meeting the changing needs of international students is reflected in this strategy.

Distribution Adjustments

To ensure fair allocation of study permits among provinces, the IRCC implemented adjustments and caps. Provinces that were anticipated to see an increase in applications from overseas students were only allotted a maximum of 10% of their total population. The purpose of this strategy was to keep some areas from having an undue influence over the pool of research permits. In addition, provinces with approval rates lower than 60% were given extra funding, referred to as “top-ups,” to make up the difference and guarantee they reached their target number of authorised study permits. By strategically adjusting the distribution of study permits, these adjustments aim to equalise opportunities while taking into account the differing demands and approval rates among provinces.

Ontario: Leading the Allocation

Ontario, being the most populous province in Canada, received the largest allocation of study permits for 2024. With 235,000 study permits allocated, Ontario continues to attract a significant number of international students. However, it’s noteworthy that a substantial portion of these permits—96%—is earmarked for public universities and colleges, limiting opportunities for international students in private institutions.

Provinces and Territories Overview

Let’s take a closer look at the allocations for other provinces and territories across Canada:

Province/TerritoryAllocation (A)Projected Approvals (B)Change from Prior Year (%)Top-Up (C)Revised Allocation with Top-Up (A+C)Projected Approvals (unchanged as B)
British Columbia83,00049,800-18N/A83,00049,800
New Brunswick9,2795,567-105,37214,6515,567
Newfoundland and Labrador2,3651,419+107883,1531,419
Northwest Territories333200+4900N/A333200
Nova Scotia12,9067,744-107,47220,3787,744
Prince Edward Island2,0041,202-103082,3121,202

IRCC’s Cap on Permits Processed

It’s crucial to differentiate between the cap on study permits issued and the cap on study permits processed. While IRCC does not have the authority to cap the number of approved study permits, it can regulate the number of applications processed. The department aims to maintain a national approval rate of 60%, determining the estimated cap of study permits issued based on the number of applications it intends to process. For 2024, IRCC plans to process approximately 606,000 applications.


The allocation of study permits in Canada reflects IRCC’s commitment to fostering diversity and ensuring access to quality education for international students. By considering factors such as population size and approval rates, IRCC strives to distribute study opportunities fairly across provinces and territories. As prospective students explore their options to study in Canada, understanding the allocation process provides valuable insights into the educational landscape of the country.

For more information on study permits and immigration procedures, visit the official website of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

By staying informed about these allocations and procedures, prospective international students can make well-informed decisions about their educational journey in Canada.

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