The cost of moving to Canada to further one’s education has increased. Since January 1, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced an increase in the financial requirement for the cost of living for applicants seeking study permits.
The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship’s Marc Miller announced on Thursday that the minimum cost of living financial requirement for students will increase from the current 10,000 Canadian dollars to 20,635 Canadian dollars on January 1, 2024. He claimed that this was being done to guarantee that students in the nation would not experience financial hardship.
The cost-of-living requirement for a single applicant has been fixed at $10,000 since the early 2000s, which has presented difficulties for students as living expenses have increased over time. Beginning in 2024, one applicant must show they are financially prepared by providing $20,635, equivalent to 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO), and enough money to cover their first year’s tuition and living expenses. New applications for study permits submitted on or after January 1, 2024, are subject to this modification.
According to Miller, the financial requirements haven’t kept up with the rising cost of living, so when students come to Canada, they find their funds are insufficient. He stated that future increases will be linked to the low-income threshold that Statistics Canada declares annually to move towards a more realistic cost of living level that assists international students arriving with the necessary resources to live and study in Canada.
Recognizing the possible effects on applicants, the government intends to work with partners on focused pilot projects in 2024, experimenting with novel approaches to assist underrepresented groups of international students studying in Canada.
The announcement comes in the wake of recent changes to the International Student Program, which emphasize the recognition of academic institutions offering first-rate housing and other services and support. Education establishments are now supposed to accept only the number of students they can adequately support.
The Montreal Youth Student Organization’s (MYSO) Mandeep expressed concern about the new rules, saying, “Students are already struggling financially due to various expenses such as the elevated cost of IELTS examinations, increased college fees, and high rental charges.” By tripling the minimum security amount needed in Canadian banks for educational expenses, the Canadian government is making things worse for international students rather than better.
These revised financial requirements also apply to applicants for study permits through the Student Direct Stream, a particular application procedure for citizens of 14 nations. This stream guarantees priority processing by requesting more information up front from applicants.