Important updates for international students in Canada

On December 7, 2023, the Minister of Immigration of Canada announced significant changes to the international student support program. This program recognizes the substantial economic contributions made by international students to the country's economy. However, many students often face serious difficulties, such as finding suitable housing, during their studies in Canada.

Mark Miller declared that starting from January 1, 2024, there will be an increase in the financial requirement to demonstrate the availability of funds to cover living expenses for applicants for a student visa. This adjustment aims to ensure that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada. Henceforth, this minimum threshold will be adjusted annually when the Canadian Statistics Department updates the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO), representing the minimum income level for essential expenses.

For example, in 2024, prospective students applying for a student visa to Canada will need to show they have 20,635 Canadian dollars, which constitutes 75% of the LICO. This is in addition to covering the tuition for the first year and travel expenses. These changes will apply to all new applicants submitting a student visa application on or after January 1, 2024.

Today's announcement follows significant reforms in the program for international students announced on October 27, 2023. These reforms pertain to the development of a new framework for recognizing educational institutions that provide high-quality services and support, including accommodation, for international students. Educational institutions are expected to admit as many students as they can adequately support, including housing options.

By September 2024, it is expected that the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) will take necessary measures, potentially including visa restrictions, to ensure that Canadian educational institutions provide adequate and sufficient support to students as part of the learning process.

Minister Miller also provided updates on crucial temporary provisions established by the end of 2023, including the following:

  1. The validity of the temporary measure allowing international students already in Canada, as well as applicants who submitted a student visa application by December 7, 2023, to work off-campus for more than 20 hours per week will be extended until April 30, 2024.
  2. Furthermore, IRCC is considering future policy options, such as extending off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week during study periods.
  3. The temporary provision allowing international students to study remotely for 50% of the length of their program will also be extended. This will continue to apply to students commencing their educational program before September 1, 2024.

For more detailed explanations on how these developments may impact your personal situation, follow our updates on Instagram and feel free to ask questions.