Skip To Main Content

Navigating Canadian Immigration Study Permit Policy Changes: K-12 Students Exempt from Cap

Navigating Canadian Immigration Study Permit Policy Changes: K-12 Students Exempt from Cap

Canada, renowned for its world-class education system and welcoming environment, has recently implemented changes to its study permit policy. As prospective international students consider their educational journey, understanding these updates is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the exemption for K-12 students and why they should feel confident about studying in Canada for their secondary education leading to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). 

The New Study Permit Cap 

On January 22, 2024, the Canadian government announced a temporary two-year cap on Canadian study permits. This cap means that the number of approved study permits (commonly referred to as Canadian student visas) in 2024 will be limited to around 360,000, allocated by province. 

K-12 Students: The Exception 

The good news for K-12 students is that they are exempt from the study permit cap. Whether you’re an elementary or high school student, you can continue to apply for study permits without worrying about limitations. Here’s why this exemption matters: 

  • Seamless Transition: K-12 students planning to pursue higher education in Canada can now do so without any study permit restrictions. They secure their initial study permit as secondary students, ensuring a smooth transition from high school to university or college. Instead of applying for a new permit, they renew their existing one and are therefore exempt from the study permit cap for international post-secondary students. 
  • Pathway to Canadian Universities: Many international students choose to complete their high school education in Canada with the goal of attending Canadian universities afterward. With the exemption, this pathway remains open and accessible. The cap only applies to new study permit applications. 
  • Quality Education: Canada’s K-12 education system offers excellent teaching, diverse cultural experiences, and a supportive learning environment. Notably, 98% of Blyth Academy graduates go on to college and university admissions, often to their top choice. 

The Canadian Visa Process 

While K-12 students enjoy this exemption, staying informed about other policy changes is essential. Consider the following: 

  • Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): After completing post-secondary studies, students can apply for a PGWP, allowing them to gain valuable work experience in Canada. 

  • Canadian Visa Process: Like many countries, leaving sufficient time for document collection, application completion, and processing is crucial. Utilizing the services of a regulated Canadian immigration consultant (RCIC) or immigration lawyer ensures a well-prepared application. Blyth Academy has trusted immigration partners we can connect you with to support your applications giving you the best chance for approval. 

Decades of International Student Support at Blyth Academy 

As an international student considering Canada for your education, rest assured that K-12 students are exempt from the study permit cap. Whether you dream of attending a Canadian university or simply want an enriching high school experience, Blyth Academy welcomes you with open arms and personalized guidance.

Remember to consult official sources, such as the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, for the most up-to-date information on study permits and immigration policies.

Your educational journey awaits! 

Learn More  Email Your Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

→ How does the study permit cap work? 

In January 2024, the Canadian government introduced a temporary two-year cap on Canadian study permits. This means that the number of applications for new study permits in 2024 will be limited to approximately 606,250, resulting in an expected 360,000 study permit approvals. Study permit allocations will be based on the population of each province or territory. 

→ Which students are exempt from the study permit cap? 

Students enrolled in K-12, master’s degree, and doctoral degree programs are exempt from the study permit cap. Therefore, this cap primarily affects undergraduate university and college students. Current study permit holders and those applying for study permit renewals (extensions) are also exempt. 

→ How will these changes impact K-12 international students? 

K-12 international students are not subject to the study permit cap. Additionally, they do not need to include a provincial attestation letter (PAL) with their study permit application. 

→ Who can accompany a K-12 student coming to Canada? 

Minor children (17 years old or younger) must either come with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to Canada, or have an appointed custodian.

If their parent or guardian has a work or study permit, the K-12 student still needs their own study permit. See the Government of Canada’s website for more details. 

→ Is a parent or guardian accompanying a K-12 student eligible for a Canadian work permit? 

Having a child in a K-12 study program in Canada does not immediately qualify a parent or guardian for a Canadian work permit. Parent(s) or guardian(s) must apply for their own work or study permit. 

For more FAQs about the updates to the Canadian study permit policies please click here.


  • Blyth Academy News