CANADA- Relocating to Canada for educational pursuits is now a more costly endeavor. Effective January 1, 2024, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has revealed an increase in the financial requirement for the cost of living for study permit applicants.
Since the early 2000s, the cost-of-living requirement has remained static at $10,000 for a single applicant, posing difficulties for students as living expenses have gradually risen.
Canada Doubles Student Visa Funds
Starting in 2024, a single applicant must exhibit financial readiness by demonstrating $20,635, equivalent to 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO), in addition to covering their initial year of tuition and travel expenses. This modification is applicable to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.
Highlighting the necessity for financial modifications, Immigration Minister Mark Miller emphasized, “This guarantees that international students come adequately prepared, mitigating the vulnerability and exploitation that some may have encountered in the past.”
Miller also shared updates on three temporary policies impacting international students. The extension of the waiver for the 20-hour-per-week limit on off-campus work has been prolonged until April 30, 2024, granting students the ability to work beyond 20 hours per week during the academic session.
Furthermore, the provision allowing students to include time spent studying online in the calculation of the future post-graduation work permit duration, applicable to those commencing a study program before September 1, 2024, has also been prolonged.
However, the temporary policy granting an additional 18-month work permit for post-graduation work permit holders set to expire by December 31, 2023, has not undergone an extension.
International Student Program Updates
Recognizing the potential consequences for applicants, the government intends to engage in collaborative efforts with partners on specific pilot programs in 2024.
These initiatives will experiment with innovative approaches to assist underrepresented groups of international students pursuing education in Canada.
This announcement comes in the wake of recent changes to the International Student Program, which emphasizes the acknowledgment of educational institutions delivering high-quality services and support, encompassing housing.
Institutions are now required to admit a number of students that they can adequately support.
In preparation for the September 2024 semester, the government is dedicated to enacting essential measures, which may involve restricting visas, to guarantee that designated learning institutions offer adequate support to students.
Quebec independently establishes its cost-of-living standard for international students enrolled in its educational institutions and regularly revises this benchmark.
These revised financial criteria also apply to the Student Direct Stream, a specialized study permit application process tailored for residents of 14 countries. This stream necessitates additional upfront information from applicants and ensures expedited processing.
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