As of December 7, 2023, Immigration and Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released updates regarding international student requirements and policies. The ministry acknowledges the contribution and importance of international students in Canada’s economy which is why they are implementing these updated policies to better protect this group.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada Minister March Miller announced the following:
First is the increase in the cost-of-living financial requirement. Starting January 1, 2024, a solo international student applicant will have to have at least $ 20,635 as opposed to the $10,000 cost-of-living requirement in the previous years. The said new amount is on top of first year tuition and travel costs. The increase was implemented to reflect the current living costs in Canada and help students be financially prepared as they embark on their study journey.
In addition, Minister Miller also updated 3 temporary policies that were set to expire by the end of 2023. This includes the following:
- Extended Off-Campus Work Limit
The 20-hour off campus work limit policy will be extended until April 30, 2024. This means that there will be no limit in the working hours of students even while school is in session. This covers international students who are already in Canada and applicants who submitted their study permit application as of December 7, 2023.
- Online/ Distance Learning
International students who begin their program of study before September 1, 2024 are still allowed to count school terms completed online toward their future PGWP. This is as long as this time does not make up more than half of the student’s total time in the program.
- PGWP Extension
International students with PGWP expiring before the end of 2023 are still eligible to apply for the 18-month extension. However, according to IRCC, this policy will not be extended any further.