Canada Doubling the Financial Requirement for International Students to Receive Study Permits
As of January 1, 2024, students will need at least $20,635 CAD in the bank to get a study permit, and this is likely to rise further each year.
In an effort to better ensure international students are prepared for the realities of life in Canada, the Canadian government is changing the rules for receiving a study permit.
Financial requirement jumps from $10,000 to over $20,000
Previously, students needed to prove they had at least $10,000 CAD available, in addition to first-year tuition fees and travel costs.
As of January 1, 2024 — only a few weeks away at time of writing — the financial requirement to receive a study permit in Canada will more than double, to $20,635 CAD.
This figure will be revised each year in accordance with data on inflation, number of permits issued, and perhaps even housing availability. The $10,000 requirement has "been in place for two decades," according to CBC News.
What is the financial requirement for?
The financial requirement isn't a fee — you don't actually have to pay it. You just have to prove that you have access to that amount of money when applying for a study permit.
The idea is that having access to these funds will ensure you can afford to live in Canada, where inflation and a lack of affordable housing has made life expensive for everyone over the last few years.
$10,000 for a year, even supplemented with part-time work, is not much to live on in most parts of Canada: especially in busy towns and cities with lots of students!
Bringing the floor up to $20,635 for 2024, and potentially raising it in future years, is meant to ensure students don't have to work full-time (or even more) to make ends meet when they arrive in Canada.
What happens if I've already applied for a study permit?
If you've already sent in your paperwork you'll be assessed with the 'old' metric of $10,000. The new $20,635 limit doesn't come into effect until January 1, 2024. Anyone who applies on or after that date will be subject to the new, more expensive financial requirement.
New pressures on colleges and universities around housing
The Canadian immigration minister also issued a warning to schools about admitting more international students than they can assist with housing, whether on-campus or nearby.
Currently, there's no limit at the federal, provincial, or territorial levels on the number of international students that can be accepted. Many schools have worked hard to recruit international students, who pay tuition that costs tens of thousands of dollars each year.
The federal government has not ruled out imposing caps on the total number of students admitted each year to Canada.
If you're looking to study in Canada, you may want to submit your application for a study permit soon. Be sure to check out the scholarships available for international students as well to help you find an institution that can help you succeed here in Canada.
This news came alongside an update on the 20 hour workweek for international students in Canada; students will be able to work more than 20 hours per week until May 1, 2024..
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