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Canada tightens Student Visa rules & Doubles Minimum funds requirements! Big 2024 Update

Canada increases the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants from AED 27,000 (US$7,376) to AED 56,000 (US$15,219), effective January 1, 2024. Additionally, IRCC Minister Marc Miller extends off-campus work hours until April 30, 2024, while online study time can count towards post-graduation work permits until September 2024.

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Canada Student Visa 2024 Update

Moving to Canada to pursue education has become more expensive. Earlier this month, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of the Canadian government announced a significant increase in the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants, effective January 1, 2024.

The new threshold will be more than double, requiring international students to demonstrate access to US$15,219 (CAN$20,635) compared to the previous amount of US$7,376 (CAN$10,000), which had been in place for approximately two decades.

Since the early 2000s, the cost-of-living requirement has remained stagnant at $10,000 for a single applicant. Starting in 2024, a single applicant must demonstrate financial preparedness by showing $20,635, representing 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO), in addition to covering their first year of tuition and travel costs. This change applies to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024. This adjustment coincides with the challenges faced by many international students in keeping up with the escalating cost of living in Canada over the past few years.

Extended off-campus work hours protected until 30 April 2024:

In a related development, IRCC Minister Marc Miller, on December 7, 2023 announced that the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus work has been extended until April 30, 2024, allowing students to work more than 20 hours per week while class is in session. The government had previously sought to restrict the number of hours international students could work while studying in Canada. He also mentioned the possibility of raising the limit to 30 hours per week in the future, while ruling out the option of full-time work for international students during their studies.

Announcement by Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Online study to count towards PGWP until September 2024

During the pandemic, the government allowed students studying online to remain eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Initially, 100% of a programme could be online for this eligibility, but in 2022 the online portion was reduced in scope. The extension of the measure permitting students to include online study time in the calculation of future post-graduation work permits, applicable to those starting a study program before September 1, 2024, has been confirmed.

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Extension of PGWP to be phased out

On three occasions, and in response to pandemic-related labour shortages, international students have been provided the ability to extend their post-graduation work permit by 18 months. Those international students whose work permit expires up to 31 December 2023 will be able to apply for an extension. However, the temporary policy granting an extra 18-month work permit for post-graduation work permit holders expiring by December 31, 2023, has not been extended.

To address potential impacts on applicants, the government plans to collaborate on targeted pilots in 2024, testing innovative ideas to support underrepresented cohorts of international students studying in Canada. This announcement follows recent reforms to the International Student Program, emphasizing recognition of learning institutions offering high-quality services and support, including housing. Learning institutions are now expected to enroll only the number of students they can adequately support.

In preparation for the September 2024 semester, the government is committed to implementing necessary measures, potentially including visa limitations, to ensure designated learning institutions provide ample student support. Quebec autonomously establishes its cost-of-living benchmark for international students attending its educational institutions and consistently revises this benchmark.

These updated financial criteria also apply to the Student Direct Stream, a unique study permit application process designed for residents of 14 countries. This stream requires additional upfront information from applicants and ensures priority processing.

The proportion of food bank users with temporary status – i.e., student/visitor/work visa – rose from 10% 2022 to 24% in 2023. Of “new food bank users,” i.e., people who have never relied on a food bank before their first visit, 87% were born outside of Canada.

According to government statistics, international education contributes over $22 billion in economic activity annually and supports more than 200,000 jobs in Canada.

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Some alumni and current students are also cautioning newer aspirants about Perils of Studying in Canada.

The rise of YouTube videos discouraging studying in Canada can be attributed to high expenses, visa difficulties, negative individual experiences, and online incentives for sensationalist content. To get a balanced perspective, it's crucial to think critically, check creators' credentials, diversify your information sources, and conduct thorough research before making any decisions.

Canada Visa Requirements: How will this affect current students and applicants?

The new minimum financial requirements only applies to new study permit applications received on or after Jan. 1, 2024.

Is the $20K per year or a one-time thing?

The requirement is a one-time thing.

Under the current system, prospective students must show that they have $10,000 in addition to money for their first year's tuition and travel expenses. Under the new system, the $10,000 is increased to $20,635.

Who is eligible to work more than 20 hours a week?

Currently, any international student without an employment visa can work for more than 20 hours a week off campus.

The waiver that temporarily allows students to work over the 20-hour cap was due to expire at the end of 2023, but Miller announced that it will be extended to April 30, 2024 for current students.

Will this stop diploma 'puppy mills'?

For years, critics have argued that some colleges are providing foreigners with inadequate education while giving them a chance to get visas to work in Canada and to eventually immigrate. Media outlets have reported on students scraping by in exploitative jobs.

"There are, in provinces, the diploma equivalent of puppy mills that are just churning out diplomas, and this is not a legitimate student experience," Miller said at a news conference.

"There is fraud and abuse and it needs to end."

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Mar 19
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Canada devient très difficile pour les étudiants maintenant!


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