The issuance of study permits to Indian students in Canada sharply declined in the last quarter of the previous year, mainly due to a diplomatic dispute between India and Canada. This dispute led to the expulsion of Canadian diplomats who processed permits. Additionally, fewer Indian students applied for study permits due to tensions surrounding a fatal incident involving a Sikh separatist leader in Canada, allegedly linked to Indian government agents. The strained diplomatic relations, resulting in the withdrawal of two-thirds of Canadian staff from India, significantly affected the processing capacity for Indian student applications.

In an interview, Immigration Minister Marc Miller expressed concern over a quick recovery in study permits for Indian students. Diplomatic tensions, initiated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, connecting Indian government agents to the fatal incident, continue to impact future permit approvals. This strained relationship extends beyond permit reductions, leading to an 86% decline in study permits issued to Indians in the last quarter of the previous year, dropping from 108,940 to 14,910, according to unreported official data. Due to diplomatic challenges, C. Gurusubramanian, counselor for the High Commission of India in Ottawa, noted that Indian students are exploring alternatives to Canada due to concerns about facilities at certain institutions. This decline is significant, as Indians will constitute over 41% of all international students in Canada in 2022. This impacts Canadian universities, with international students contributing about C$22 billion ($16.4 billion) annually. Immigration Minister Marc Miller emphasizes the need to reduce the influx of international students, announcing upcoming measures, including a possible cap, to address the challenges.