Canada News
Written By GHV Immigration Services
December 13, 2023

On December 7, 2023, Minister Marc Miller of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced several important updates affecting international students coming to Canada. These policies will help protect international students against an increased cost of living and recent housing challenges.

The biggest news in the announcements involves Canada’s revised expectations for proof of financial support as required on a student’s study permit application.

When international students apply for their Canadian study permit, they are required to show their access to a set amount of savings, proving they’re financially prepared to live and study in Canada. For the past several years, this amount was set at C$10,000 (plus travel costs and the cost of tuition for one year) for a single applicant.

Beginning 2024, a single applicant will be required to show they have access to C$20,635, plus enough funds to cover their travel expenses and the cost of their first full year of tuition.

Minister Miller also provided an update on 3 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. We continue to examine 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% of the program of study, will continue to be in place for students who begin a study program before September 1, 2024. This measure will no longer apply to students who begin a study program on or after that date. Distance learning facilitation measures were first implemented in 2020 in response to travel restrictions during the pandemic, and were reduced in scope in September 2022. At this point, the vast majority of international students are studying in person in Canada.
  • In response to labour market disruptions during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, a temporary policy was introduced on 3 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.

These updates from Canada’s IRCC help to ensure that international students are set up for success when studying, working, and living in Canada.

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