Canada to Increase Cost-of-Living Requirements for International Students

Canada to Increase Cost-of-Living Requirements for International Students

Manmeet Kaur Manmeet Kaur
[Published 08 Dec, 2023 | 04:10 AM]
About Author - 2 min read

On December 7, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced to raise the cost-of-living requirements for international students, effective January 1, 2024. These changes will apply to Canada Study Visa applications received on or after January 1st.

The Honourable Marc Miller emphasized the need to prevent student vulnerability and exploitation while acknowledging the impact of these changes on applicants. To address potential gaps, IRCC intends to implement targeted pilots in collaboration with partners in 2024, aiming to help underrepresented cohorts of international students in pursuing their studies in Canada.

Starting January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living requirement for a single study permit applicant will be increased to $20,635 – in addition to the tuition and travel costs in the first year. Previously, this amount was $10,000 which was not keeping up with Canada’s increasing financial requirements.

The department has announced that in addition to the January 1st increase, the cost-of-living requirements will be adjusted annually based on the low-income cut-off (LICO) update by Statistics Canada. LICO represents the minimum income needed to make sure that individuals do not have to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on necessities.

These changes will also be applied to Student Direct Stream (SDS), the most popular study permit stream.

Update on three temporary policies affecting international students :

  • IRCC will be extending the waiver on the 20 hours of work per week for international students till April 30, 2024, allowing them to work off campus while their class is in session.
  • Students who start their studies before September 2024 – can include online learning time when applying for a work permit later. After that date, this rule won't apply.
  • Post-grad work permit holders get an extra 18 months when their first permit ends. If their permit ends by December 31, 2023, they can still apply. But, after that, this special rule won't continue.

Who is eligible to work on a study visa in Canada?

If you wish to work while studying in Canada as an international student, you must meet the following requirements –

  • Have a valid study permit.
  • Are a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution.
  • Have enrolled in an academic, vocational, or professional training program – a minimum of 6 months in duration and leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • have an ongoing course and remain in suitable academic standing as determined by their institution
  • Possess a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

As for Quebec province, it will have its own cost-of-living requirements for international students who wish to study in Quebec’s top educational institutions.

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