Minister of Housing in Canada, Sean Fraser stated the Canadian government may contemplate imposing limits on foreign student visas in response to the growing concerns about the escalating housing cost.
This comes as a result of the surge in visas in recent years due to Canada’s attractiveness to international students, including those from Nigeria as a result of its relatively accessible work permit opportunities.
According to official records seen by Nairametrics, the count of foreign students holding active visas surpassed 800,000 in 2022, a substantial increase from 275,000 in 2012.
What he said
Having previously served as the immigration minister, Fraser, who assumed his current role last month, expressed that the significant surge in student numbers is notably straining certain housing markets.
When questioned about the possibility of enforcing a limit on the number of foreign students, although the government had not reached a verdict on the matter yet, he responded,
- “I believe that’s a course of action we should examine”.
- “We’ve got temporary immigration programs that were never designed to see such explosive growth in such a short period,” Fraser told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet retreat in the Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island.
The official opposition Conservative Party contends that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is inadequately addressing the housing predicament.
With a population of approximately 39.5 million individuals, Canada intends to admit an unprecedented 500,000 new permanent residents in 2025. Fraser however asserted that restricting the influx of newcomers wouldn’t provide a solution to the issue.