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Issued by: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Press Release – 452, December 7, 2023 – Ottawa
Canada, known for its excellent educational system, inclusive society, and post-graduation opportunities, is a preferred choice for international students. These students enrich campus life and drive innovation nationwide. However, they face significant challenges, such as securing appropriate housing, while studying in Canada.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, has announced that the financial requirements for study permit applicants will increase from January 1, 2024. This change ensures international students are financially equipped for life in Canada. The new threshold will align annually with the low-income cut-off (LICO) updates from Statistics Canada, ensuring students’ financial resources match the cost of living.

The previous financial benchmark, unchanged since the early 2000s, was $10,000 for single applicants. This amount has not kept pace with rising living costs, leaving students underprepared financially upon arrival in Canada. Starting 2024, a single applicant must demonstrate access to $20,635, 75% of the LICO, alongside tuition and travel expenses. This requirement will apply to new study permit applications from January 1, 2024.

To mitigate potential impacts on students, next year will see pilot programs aiding underrepresented student groups. These initiatives complement reforms to the International Student Program introduced on October 27, 2023, focusing on high-quality services and housing support at educational institutions.

Ahead of the September 2024 semester, visa limitations may be imposed to ensure sufficient student support, including housing, by learning institutions. Collaboration with provincial, territorial governments, and education stakeholders is vital for the success of international students in Canada.

Minister Miller also updated three temporary policies for international students, set to expire at the end of 2023:

  1. The off-campus work-hour limit waiver for international students will extend to April 30, 2024. Eligible students can work over 20 hours per week until then.
  2. Online study time will count towards post-graduation work permits for programs starting before September 1, 2024.
  3. The 18-month additional work permit for post-graduation work permit holders will not extend beyond December 31, 2023.

Canada values the substantial social, cultural, and economic contributions of international students and aims to address challenges affecting their experience and program integrity.

Quotes
“Revising the financial threshold for international students is crucial for their successful integration in Canada. We aim to protect them from financial vulnerability and exploitation while ensuring adequate housing support. These updates are vital for their well-being.”
– Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick Facts
International education generates over $22 billion annually, surpassing exports of auto parts, lumber, or aircraft, and sustains 200,000+ jobs in Canada.
Quebec sets its own financial requirements for international students, regularly updating them.
The new financial guidelines also apply to the Student Direct Stream, a priority process for applicants from 14 countries.

What is the purpose of the new financial requirements for study permit applicants in Canada?

o ensure international students are financially prepared for the Canadian cost of living and prevent financial vulnerability.

When will the new financial requirements for study permits take effect?

January 1, 2024.

How much will a single applicant need to show for the 2024 financial requirement?

$20,635, plus tuition and travel costs.

What is the low-income cut-off (LICO), and how does it relate to the new financial requirements?

LICO is the minimum income necessary to avoid excessive spending on necessities. The new threshold will be adjusted annually based on LICO updates.

What temporary policies affecting international students were extended?

The waiver on the 20-hour work limit and the online study time counting towards post-graduation work permits.

Will the additional 18-month work permit for post-graduation work permit holders be extended?

No, it will not extend beyond December 31, 2023.

What economic impact does international education have in Canada?

It generates over $22 billion annually, exceeding certain key exports and supporting over 200,000 jobs.

Does Quebec follow the same financial requirements for international students?

No, Quebec sets its own periodically updated financial requirements.

What measures are being considered for educational institutions in terms of student support?

Limiting visas if institutions don’t provide adequate support, including housing.

What is the Student Direct Stream, and how are its guidelines changing?

It’s a priority study permit process for residents of 14 countries, now subject to the new financial guidelines.

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