The Government of Canada has announced that the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants will be raised significantly, starting January 1, 2024
The government says the increase is necessary to ensure that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada, which has become significantly more expensive since the previous requirement was set.
This change, announced by Immigration Minister Marc Miller was to reflects the rising cost of living in Canada, which has outpaced the previous financial requirement set in the early 2000s.
Miller disclosed that starting January 1, 2024, single study permit applicants will need to demonstrate that they have $20,635 CAD available, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs.
He stated that the new threshold is based on 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO), which represents the minimum income necessary to ensure basic needs are met.
The minister noted that the new threshold will help prevent student vulnerability and exploitation, as the government recognizes that the impact of the change will vary depending on the applicant.
He also disclosed that the government, in collaboration with partners, intends to implement targeted pilots that will test new ideas aimed at helping underrepresented cohorts of international students pursue their studies in Canada.
Minister Miller also provided an update on three temporary policies affecting international students that were all set to expire at the end of 2023, which includes the waiver of the 20-hour-per-week limit on the number of hours international students are allowed to work off campus while class is in session, which will be extended to April 30, 2024.
He stated that international students already in Canada, as well as applicants who have already submitted an application for a study permit as of December 7, 2023, will be able to work off campus more than 20 hours per week until that time.
The minister also noted that International students who began their program before September 1, 2024, can count online study time towards the length of their post-graduation work permit, as long as it comprises less than 50% of the program.
Concerning the additional post-graduation work permit, Miller added that the temporary policy providing an additional 18 months of work authorization for expiring post-graduation work permits will not be extended beyond December 31, 2023.