The Canadian international student system is facing criticism as nearly half of the 400,000 visa applications were rejected, revealing potential abuse in the admissions process. The system, a significant revenue source for post-secondary institutions, is accused of losing its integrity. Immigration Minister Marc Miller likened it to a “paparazzi ring,” suggesting exploitation by both schools and individuals aiming for permanent residency. A policy expert notes a flood of subpar applicants due to aggressive recruitment efforts.


From January 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023, Immigration and Refugees approved 54.3% (470,427) of study permit applicants admitted to Canadian schools, while 45.7% (395,779) faced rejection. Approval rates vary across institutions, with public colleges experiencing higher rejection rates compared to public universities and private institutions.


The sector’s growth, economic contribution, and challenges faced by international students are also highlighted. Recommendations include increased oversight by provincial governments and addressing the potential impact on Canada’s reputation as an education powerhouse.


Schools Approvals
University of Toronto 90.0%
University of Waterloo 86.5%
McMaster University 86.5%
University of Western Ontario 80.0%
University of Windsor 80.0%
University of Ottawa 77.6%
Carleton University 76.0%
Brock University 71.5%
Lambton College 70.0%
York University 66.0%
Trent University 56.0%
Algoma University 52.0%
Loyster University 20.7%