Canada announces important changes for international students: In a big step to improve the experience of foreign students in Canada, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced today a set of changes that will help students with their finances and make it easier for them to go to school in Canada.
How to Prepare International Students’ Funds
The amount of money applicants for study permits will need to cover the cost of living will go up starting January 1, 2024. This is to make sure that foreign students are ready for life in Canada.
The limit will be changed yearly based on Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO), which is the lowest amount needed to meet basic needs. The old financial condition has stayed the same since the early 2000s, so this change is made to fix it.
For 2024, a single candidate will need to show that they have $20,635, which is 75% of LICO, plus the cost of their first year of college and travel. The change is meant to make sure that students don’t have to worry about money when they get to Canada.
Applications for a study permit sent in on or after January 1, 2024, will have to meet the new condition.
For foreign students, the cost of living requirement used to be set at $10,000 per year for a single student in the early 2000s. This amount was meant to cover all of your living costs in Canada, besides your fees and travel.
The cost of living in Canada has gone up over the years, but the amounts of money that foreign students need to pay have remained the same to reflect this. This caused problems when students got to Canada and found they didn’t have enough money to cover their living costs, leaving them exposed financially.
The Canadian government has raised the amount needed to $20,635 for a single application to fix this problem. This is almost twice as much as it was before.
Verification Process for Acceptance Letters
From December 1, 2023, Canadian post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) will have to check directly with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on every applicant’s letter of acceptance. This new verification process shields students from fake letters of acceptance and ensures that study permits are only given out based on real acceptance letters.
Recognized Institution Framework
IRC is going to use a “recognized institution” framework for the fall semester of 2024. Postsecondary DLIs that are known for giving international students better services, support, and outcomes will gain from this framework. Schools that meet these requirements will be able to process study passes faster for people who want to go to their school.
Updates on work permits
Several changes have been made to the rules for foreign students who want to get work permits. The policy extension is a big change because it means that international students can work off-campus for more than 20 hours a week until April 30, 2024. At first, this policy was set to end at the end of 2023, but it was later extended.
Guidelines for Students Planning to Study in Canada
- Make sure you have enough money to pay for your living costs in Canada. As of 2024, a single applicant will need to have $20,635 to cover their cost of living, which includes education and travel costs.
- Keep up with any changes to the financial requirements, as these may change every year based on improvements to Canada’s Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO).
- Make sure the school you’re going to is real and not trying to trick you.
- You must have health insurance as a foreign student in Canada, so make sure you have it.
- The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is important to know about if you want to work in Canada after you graduate.
Support for Underrepresented Groups through Pilot Programs
Because these changes will affect different applicants differently, the government wants to work with partners to run targeted pilots in 2024. These programs will look into new ways to help groups of foreign students that need to be better represented, making sure that everyone can be a part of the Canadian education system.
Ensuring that learning institutions provide enough help
The announcement aligns with the recent change to the International Student Program. It focuses on a new way to recognize schools that give foreign students excellent services and support, such as housing. Schools are only supposed to let in students that they can properly support. This sets the stage for steps, such as possibly limiting visas, to ensure enough support for all students by September 2024.
Updates Regarding Temporary Regulations
Also, Minister Miller gave updates on three temporary rules that affect foreign students:
Students will have more freedom because the 20-hour-per-week cap on off-campus work will be waived until April 30, 2024.
Students who start a program of study before September 1, 2024, can keep putting their online study time toward a future work permit after graduation, as long as it’s less than half of their program of study.
The temporary rule that gives people with a work pass after graduation an extra 18 months of permission to work will end on December 31, 2023. It will not be extended further.
- Financial requirements for study permits in Canada will increase to $20,635 from January 1, 2024.
- A new verification process for acceptance letters aims to prevent fake documents.
- A “recognized institution” framework will expedite study permit processing for select schools.
- Updates to work permits allow off-campus work for international students until April 30, 2024.
- Support for underrepresented groups through targeted pilot programs will be implemented in 2024.
- Health insurance is mandatory for foreign students in Canada.
- Temporary regulations include waiving the 20-hour-per-week work cap until April 30, 2024, and ending the 18-month post-graduation work extension on December 31, 2023.
FAQs for Canada’s Changes for International Students in 2024:
1. What are the changes announced for international students in Canada in 2024?
The changes announced include an increase in the financial requirements for study permits, a new verification process for acceptance letters, a “recognized institution” framework for designated learning institutions, updates on work permits, support for underrepresented groups through pilot programs, and temporary regulations affecting off-campus work and online study time.
2. How will the financial requirements for study permits change in 2024?
Starting January 1, 2024, applicants for study permits must show they have $20,635, which is 75% of Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO), plus the cost of their first year of college and travel. The amount will be adjusted annually based on LICO.
3. Why did Canada increase the financial requirements for international students?
The increase is to ensure that foreign students have enough funds to cover their living costs in Canada. The previous financial conditions had not been updated since the early 2000s, leading to problems for students who found they didn’t have enough money upon arrival.
4. What is the new verification process for acceptance letters?
Canadian post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) will now directly check with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on every applicant’s letter of acceptance. This is to prevent the issuance of study permits based on fake acceptance letters.
5. What is the “recognized institution” framework?
The IRC will use a framework that recognizes post secondary DLIs known for providing international students with better services, support, and outcomes. Schools meeting these criteria will be able to process study permits faster for prospective students.
6. Are there updates on work permits for international students?
Yes, the policy allowing international students to work off-campus for more than 20 hours a week has been extended until April 30, 2024. Students who start a program before September 1, 2024, can count online study time towards a future work permit, as long as it’s less than half of their program of study.
7. What temporary regulations have been updated for international students?
The 20-hour-per-week cap on off-campus work has been waived until April 30, 2024. Students starting a program before September 1, 2024, can still count online study time towards a future work permit. However, the temporary rule granting an extra 18 months of permission to work after graduation will end on December 31, 2023, with no further extension.
8. Is health insurance mandatory for international students in Canada?
Yes, foreign students in Canada must have health insurance. It is essential to ensure you have coverage for medical expenses during your stay.
9. What should students do to prepare for studying in Canada in 2024?
Students should ensure they have enough funds to cover living costs, keep updated on financial requirements, verify the authenticity of their chosen school, obtain health insurance, and be aware of the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program if planning to work in Canada after graduation.
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