Canada to more than double cost-of-living requirement for international students

International students Image credit: Unsplash

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Cost-of-living financial requirement for incoming international students to Canada will reportedly more than double on Jan. 1, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller announced today.

The current requirement, which has been in place since the early 2000s says that study permit applicants need to show they have $10,000 saved to cover their tuition and the cost of living in Canada.

The financial requirement hasn’t kept up with the cost of living over time, Miller was reported saying resulting in students arriving in Canada only to learn that their funds aren’t adequate.

“Moving to a more accurate cost of living level…resources to live and study in Canada, future increases will be tied to the low-income cut-off Statistics Canada announces every year,” he said.

For 2024, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs, a single applicant will require to show they have $20,635, representing 75 percent of low-income cut-off (LICO).

The change will be applicable to new study permit applications received on or after Jan.1, 2024.

The criteria will then be adjusted each year when Statistics Canada updates the LICO, which represents the minimum income necessary to enable an individual not to spend a greater than average portion of income on necessities.

A few other updates to the international student program were announced by Miller including extension on the waiver on the 20-hour-per week off-campus work limit for current international students to April 30, 2024.

Miller added that the government is considering expanding the off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week while class is in session.

“Our data shows us that 80 per cent of international students work more than 20 hours per week,” he said.