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Canada’s New Policies for International Students in 2024


January 13th, 2024 at 06:05 am

Canada’s New Policies for International Students in 2024

Canada has always been a top preference for international students to study. Among the many top reasons, one of the remarkable reasons for this growing preference is the country’s international student-friendly rules and inclusivity.

Keeping up with the latest announcements and measures of the country’s International Student Program and curbing fraudulent practices, the Canadian Government has recently announced revised requirements to better protect international students.

So, if you are planning to study in Canada in 2024, then this news update is for you. Continue reading to learn more about these most recent changes made by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Overview

Immigration, Citizenship, and Refugees Canada (IRCC) has made substantial changes to essential standards and procedures for overseas students in a recent update. The cost-of-living criterion for study visa applicants will increase to CAN 20,635 on January 1, 2024, up from the current CAN 10,000 for a single application. This change is intended to guarantee that students arrive in Canada with enough money to support their living expenses.

Revised Cost of Living for Study Permit Applicants

Mr. Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced a significant reform in the financial requirements to guarantee that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada and can focus entirely on their higher education. Given the huge increase in living expenditures, the amount that was previously established at CAD $10,000 in the early 2000s is being revised. As a result, the cost-of-living threshold for study visa applicants has been revised to $20,635 on January 1, 2024.

When Statistics Canada changes the low-income cut-off (LICO), this new financial requirement threshold will be modified. For the time being, representing 75% of LICO, $20,635 in living expenditures will be sufficient for international students to live well in Canada. Furthermore, students must demonstrate their first year of tuition and travel expenses. This higher fee will apply to all new study permit applications submitted on or after January 1, 2024. This new financial criteria will also apply to Student Direct Stream (SDS) applicants.

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The Effect on Study Permit Applicants

The higher cost-of-living criteria will be applied to the Student Direct Stream, a customized study visa application process open to citizens of particular countries. Applicants must demonstrate their financial capacity in a variety of ways, excluding tuition and travel expenses. While this move tries to match the current cost of living, it may reduce the number of people who can apply for a study permit in Canada.

Off-Campus Work Authorization Policies for International Students

IRCC has also extended several interim policies for overseas students. The regulation permitting qualifying students to work more than 20 hours off-campus has been extended until April 30, 2024. This extension allows students to contribute more significantly to the Canadian workforce, which helps to alleviate labor shortages.

PGWP Time Extension

Furthermore, the regulation that allows international students to keep their Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) while studying outside of Canada has been extended until September 1, 2024. This provision, which was first adopted owing to pandemic-related travel restrictions, continues to help students who may need to go outside of Canada for sections of their study program.

Strengthening the Integrity of Canada’s International Student Program

The 18-month Permit Extension has come to an end. In contrast, the policy offering PGWP holders an 18-month permission extension, allowing eligible foreign nationals to apply for an open work permit extension, will expire on December 31, 2023, as planned. This development highlights the need for foreign nationals to explore alternate options for remaining and working in Canada when their PGWP expires.

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Navigating the Difficult Landscape

These initiatives are part of IRCC’s continued efforts to navigate the complex world of international student immigration. The goal is to strike a balance between Canada’s desirability as a worldwide education destination and the imperative of meeting domestic labor market needs.

IRCC to Reconsider Post-Graduation Work Permit for the First Time in a Decade
In the future, IRCC wants to alter the cost-of-living level in accordance with Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off, ensuring that it remains relevant to economic realities. Additionally, focused pilot programs will be launched in 2024 to assist international students in furthering their education in Canada.

Summary of the Updates on Three Temporary International Student Policies

Minister Miller has also announced official revisions on three temporary policies affecting overseas students, in addition to the revised cost-of-living level. Because these policies are set to expire at the end of 2023, here are the updates you need to know.

Extended Waiver of the Weekly 20-Hour Limit

International students who are already in Canada and have applied for a study permit until December 7, 2023, will be exempt from the 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus work. This exemption has been extended until April 30, 2024, allowing international students to work more than 20 hours per week during their semesters.

Updated Distance Learning Facilitation Measure

The Distance Learning Facilitation Measure has been updated to allow students to count online study time toward their potential post-graduation work permit. This extension is available if you begin your study program before September 1, 2024. Please keep in mind that this does not apply if your program starts on or after this date.

Further extensions of Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs).

Recognizing the country’s labor market difficulties during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, a temporary policy of extending an additional 18-month work permit to a post-graduation work permit was announced three times. Those possessing a post-graduation employment visa that expires before December 31, 2023, will be able to apply. This temporary policy, however, will not be extended further.

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So, if you are an international student hoping to study in Canada, you should begin your application process for the upcoming academic year as soon as possible. If these developments are causing you to have a lot of questions, now is the time to seek professional help. Get answers to all of your Canada study permit inquiries from KC’s Canada experts. Our experts will not only walk you through these upgrades but will also offer you comprehensive end-to-end support for your study abroad plans.

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