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Revised requirements and policy updates for the Canadian International Student Permit

Canada, a premier destination for international students, is committed to enhancing the experience and well-being of those pursuing education in the country. In a recent announcement by the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, key changes have been introduced to better protect international students, addressing financial challenges and vulnerabilities. The revised requirements, effective from January 1, 2024, aim to ensure that students are adequately prepared for the cost of living in Canada.

The primary adjustment involves raising the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants. This threshold, stagnant since the early 2000s at $10,000 for a single applicant, has been recalibrated to $20,635 for 2024, representing 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO). LICO is a measure ensuring individuals do not spend an undue portion of their income on necessities. This change is a response to the evolving cost of living, preventing students from arriving in Canada with insufficient funds.

The Minister highlighted that this adjustment is a step towards preventing student vulnerability and exploitation, acknowledging the varied impact it might have on different applicants. To further support underrepresented cohorts of international students, targeted pilot programs will be launched in collaboration with partners in the coming year.

This announcement follows recent reforms to the International Student Program, emphasizing a new framework to recognize learning institutions providing high-quality services and support, including housing. Learning institutions are expected to only admit a number of students they can adequately support, fostering a positive academic experience that includes suitable housing options.

Recognizing the responsibility to support students upon arrival, measures are being considered for the September 2024 semester, including potential visa limitations to ensure designated learning institutions provide sufficient student support. Collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, learning institutions, and other education stakeholders is emphasized to guarantee the success of international students in Canada.

The Minister also provided updates on three temporary policies affecting international students, addressing issues set to expire in 2023:

  1. Extension of Off-Campus Work Hours: The waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus work will be extended until April 30, 2024. International students, both currently in Canada and those with pending study permit applications as of December 7, 2023, can work more than 20 hours per week during this period. Future options, such as expanding off-campus work hours to 30 per week, are under consideration.

  2. Online Study Time Counting Towards Post-Graduation Work Permit: Students starting a study program before September 1, 2024, can continue to count time spent studying online (up to 50% of the program) towards a future post-graduation work permit. This measure aims to accommodate changes implemented during the pandemic, with a focus on in-person study experiences.

  3. Work Permit Extension for Post-Graduation Work Permit Holders: Temporary policies providing an additional 18-month work permit for post-graduation work permit holders expiring up to December 31, 2023, will remain in effect. However, this extension will not be further prolonged.

These policies aim to balance the economic, cultural, and social benefits brought by international students with the need to address vulnerabilities and maintain the integrity of the International Student Program. The overdue increase in the cost-of-living threshold is expected to offer students arriving in Canada a more secure financial foundation as they embark on their academic journeys.

At Angela Boldea immigration Inc., we have devised cost-efective solutions for you to navigate the changes when you ask for a study permit. Head to our website to enroll in one of our groupe services for acquiring a student permit or book an initial consultation where you can have all your questions answered.

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