Canada Update: Navigating Policy Shifts for International Students
On December 7, 2023, Marc Miller, the Minister responsible for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), made several key announcements impacting international students in Canada. These updates are aimed at assisting international students in coping with rising living costs and housing challenges.
Starting January 1, 2024, international students applying for a Canadian study permit will need to demonstrate increased financial capability. The new requirement will be C$20,635, up from the previous C$10,000, a figure that had remained unchanged for nearly two decades. This adjustment reflects the increased cost of living and will be annually reviewed based on the low-income cut-off statistics from Statistics Canada.
Furthermore, the waiver on the limitation of working hours for international students, initially set to end on December 31, 2023, has been extended to April 30, 2024. This means international students can work beyond 20 hours per week off campus during the winter semester. Marc Miller also discussed some temporary changes regarding post-graduation work permits.
Elevated Proof of Financial Support for Student Permits
A significant announcement concerns the heightened financial proof required for a Canadian study permit. Previously, international students had to show access to C$10,000 plus additional funds for travel and a year's tuition. Given the rising living expenses, this amount is now considered insufficient. From 2024, applicants must demonstrate access to at least C$20,635, alongside funds for travel and first-year tuition fees.
This updated financial requirement is applicable to all new study permit applications from January 1, 2024, and affects those applying through the Student Direct Stream. Applicants will now need to provide a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) with a minimum of C$20,635, a substantial increase from the former C$10,000 requirement.
Extended Work Hours for International Students
Another focus of Miller's announcement was the extension of the working hour limit waiver for international students. Initially, a temporary measure allowed students with off-campus work authorization to exceed the standard 20-hour weekly limit throughout 2023. This waiver has now been extended until April 30, 2024, benefiting both current and new students who applied for their study permit by December 7, 2023.
While this extension is temporary, the possibility of a permanent increase to 30 working hours per week remains open, as IRCC continues to explore future policy options.
Updates on Post-Graduation Work Permits
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Canada implemented several temporary measures affecting the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. One such measure allows international students to count up to 50% of their remote online study towards a future PGWP. This rule remains in effect for students commencing a Canadian study program before September 1, 2024.
Additionally, PGWP holders whose permits expired before the end of 2023 are eligible for an extension, enabling them to gain additional Canadian work experience. However, this policy will not be extended beyond this period.
As the landscape of international education undergoes pivotal changes, staying abreast of evolving policies becomes crucial for aspiring students. For detailed information on this and genuine guidance on studying in Canada you can contact our experienced team. For over 18 years, Pyramid has been a beacon of support, assisting students in their pursuit of education in Canada. Our dedicated team is well-versed in the intricacies of visa applications and financial requirements. We ensure that each student receives personalized guidance, making the journey to study in Canada not only manageable but also a stepping stone to a brighter future. For more information and to apply for your Canada Study Visa. Call: 92563-92563
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In a recent press conference, Marc Miller, the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, outlined key