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Canadian Immigration Changes Again!

Updated: Jul 10




And just like that, in the blink of an eye, within just a few weeks, the required proof of funds for prospective students aiming to study in Canada is set to double! That's right, not just an increase – it will actually double.


The CAD 10,000 proof of funds per year of study, a requirement for student visa applicants in Canada, was established back in the early 2000s, almost 23 years ago. Since then, this amount has remained unchanged, but the cost of living has definitely not stayed the same.


When I first arrived in Canada, rent was around $600. Fast forward three years, and it jumped to $900. Now, 10 years after I applied for my student visa, rent for a self-contained unit averages between $1,700 and $2,500 a month.





Did the government overlook the need to keep up with these escalating costs? It's hard to say.

But now, they've certainly caught up. Starting January 1, 2024, the proof of funds for the cost of living per year of study will be a whopping $20,635. This amount is practically enough for an additional year of study. And let's be clear, this is just for living expenses; tuition and travel costs are extra. This change was announced on December 7th, 2023.


This increase will affect new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024. If you're planning to apply just before the deadline with your $10,000, best of luck, as there are no guarantees in Canadian immigration.


The government acknowledges that this is a substantial change and will significantly impact those interested in studying in Canada in 2024. In their statement, they noted, “Next year, in collaboration with partners, we intend to implement targeted pilots that will test new ideas aimed at helping underrepresented groups of international students pursue their studies in Canada.”


It's not that they don't care about international students or don't want them in Canada. In fact, the changes are more likely to be beneficial in the long run, but a gradual increase over the years might have been a softer approach than doubling it all at once. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, and the next best time is now – so, “whoop, there it is”...


Here's what the Minister said:

“International students bring immense cultural, social, and economic benefits to their communities, yet they face challenges adapting to life in Canada. We're revising the cost-of-living threshold to ensure international students understand the true cost of living here. This is crucial for their success. Additionally, we're exploring options to help students secure adequate housing. These overdue changes will protect international students from financial vulnerability and exploitation.”

– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship


But that's not all:


  • Students can continue to work over the 20-hour limit until April 30, 2024. This extension, initially set to expire on December 31, 2023, applies to students already in Canada or those who applied for a study permit as of December 7, 2023.


  • The policy allowing international students to study online for less than 50% of their program, implemented during COVID, will continue until September 1, 2024. After this date, the measure will no longer apply.


  • Post-graduation work permit holders could extend their permits by an additional 18 months due to labor market disruptions during and after the pandemic. This temporary measure will conclude after December 31, 2023, and will not be extended.





So, what now?


Is it still worth it to pursue studies in Canada in 2024 and beyond? Maybe. It depends on your financial situation, stage in life, and long-term objectives. If you're already educated to a post-secondary level, have some work experience, and have CAD 20,000 available, consider programs that facilitate moving to Canada for a job, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program, Rural & Northern Immigration Program, Francophone Immigration Program, Provincial Nominee Program, or other job-specific initiatives. CAD 20,000 could help you secure the necessary support to find a job, move to Canada, and settle in your new home, leaving a substantial amount for other expenses.


Without work experience, you might either meet the new proof of funds requirement for 2024 or work in your home country for a year or two to gain the experience needed for the programs mentioned above.


Remember, although you need to prove access to CAD 20,000, you don't necessarily have to spend it all. However, depending on your rent as a student, it's easy to go through this amount in just a year. So, plan your finances wisely.


And, if you have the resources, pursuing studies in Canada as an international student is definitely still worthwhile.


To Wrap It UP


These changes in Canadian immigration policy for students are significant, but they also open new avenues and opportunities. It's essential to evaluate your personal situation, goals, and resources to make the best decision for your future.


If you're feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about the next steps, don't hesitate to reach out. Book a coaching call with me or consult with my immigration expert.


Together, we can navigate these changes and help you achieve your dreams of studying, working or living in Canada.


Let's turn this challenge into an exciting new chapter in your journey!






Reference


Immigration, R. a. C. C. (2023, December 7). Revised requirements to better protect international students. Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2023/12/revised-requirements-to-better-protect-international-students.html


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