Brampton Mayor calls for changes in international student visa

Brampton mayor said international students were living in third-world conditions

Brampton mayor suggests change in approval program for international students coming to Canada / Image –

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown called upon the federal government to enforce the requirement of a local address along with international student visa applications as part of the approvals process.

The proposal aims to solve the housing crisis that has impacted Canadians as well as students arriving in the country.

The housing crisis in Canada has worsened over the years due to an imbalanced demand-supply ratio. An estimated 5.8 million homes need to be built by 2030, however, Canada is currently building less than half of what’s required, as per a report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

#Brampton City Council has unanimously passed a motion calling on the federal government to require international student visas to include a housing address consistent with local by-laws as a component of the approvals process,” Brown wrote on X.

He further called out Canadian universities that are admitting international students without provisions to house them, due to which a lot of students are forced to exist in poor living conditions.

“We can’t have international students living in 3rd world conditions while being used as an ATM for the college they are going to. The current system allows international students to be routinely taken advantage of and exacerbates the housing crisis. Requiring a housing address as part of the visa approval process would ensure every college has an appropriate housing plan and spur new student housing construction,” Brown added.

Indian students in Canada

Indians make up the biggest share among international student groups in Canada. In 2022, there were 5.5 lakh international students in Canada, out of which 2.26 lakh were Indians, making up 40 percent of the total, as per data from the Canadian government.

In the first half of 2023, Canada welcomed 4.34 lakh international students, out of which 1.75 lakh were from India.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the government was considering capping the number of international students in the country going forward as one of the measures to mitigate the housing crisis.

On January 22, Miller made a formal announcement, capping the number of international students at 364,000.

“A temporary two-year cap on new international student permits. It is the latest in a series of measures to prove program integrity, and set international students up to success to maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada as well,” he said.

The number of international students in Canada has tripled over the last ten years. Like Brown, Minister Miller also blamed Canadian universities that used foreign students as cash cows.