New cost-of-living requirement for Canada study permit
Dear Mr Brown,
Can you advise me about the new cost-of-living requirement for a study permit in Canada?
Marc Miller, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, recently announced that starting January 1, 2024, the requirement for the cost-of-living for a study permit will be doubled. The rationale is that currently international students are not financially prepared for life in Canada because the current requirement has been unchanged since the early 2000s.
New cost-of-living requirement for study permits
The financial requirement for living expenses will be adjusted each year when Statistics Canada updates the low-income cut-off (LICO). LICO represents the minimum income necessary to ensure that an individual does not have to spend a greater than average portion of income on necessities.
The current cost-of-living requirement (since the early 2000s) is $10,000.00 CAD. For 2024, a single applicant will need to show that they have $20,635, (representing 75 per cent of LICO), in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs. This change will apply to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.
The government claims that due to the disparate impact the change will have on the average applicants, next year, targeted pilots will be implemented, in collaboration with partners, to test new ideas aimed at helping under-represented cohorts of international students pursue their studies in Canada.
Possible cap on visas
Miller also threatened to cap visas in provinces that don’t help house students or who won’t shut down educational institutions that he argues shouldn’t be operating. The measures are meant to ensure international students aren’t vulnerable to sketchy employers and unscrupulous schools that leave them unable to afford life in Canada.
Proving student housing
Learning institutions will also be classified based on their ability to provide adequate support, such as housing. The government is prepared to take necessary measures, including limiting visas, to ensure that designated learning institutions provide adequate and sufficient student supports as part of the academic experience.
Update on temporary policies
Miller also provided an update on three temporary policies affecting international students that were all set to expire at the end of 2023, including the following:
• The waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit on the number of hours international students are allowed to work off campus while class is in session will be extended to April 30, 2024. 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 government is considering options for this policy in the future, such as expanding off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week while class is in session.
• The facilitative measure that has allowed international students to count time spent studying online towards the length of a future post-graduation work permit, as long as it constitutes less than 50 per cent of the programme of study, will continue to be in place for students who begin a study programme before September 1, 2024. This measure will no longer apply to students who begin a study programme on or after that date.
• In response to labour market disruptions during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, a temporary policy was introduced on three occasions to provide an additional 18-month work permit to post-graduation work permit holders as their initial work permit was expiring. Foreign nationals with a post-graduation work permit expiring up to December 31, 2023, remain eligible to apply. However, this temporary policy will not be extended further.
JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programs, including Express Entry, The Study & Work program, Visas or Appeals, etc.
Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston, and AfriCanadaServices.com in Abuja, Nigeria. Send questions/comments to email@example.com