Canada To Double Cost Of Living For International Students

Canada, known for its outstanding education and diverse society, attracts numerous international students.

These students contribute to campus life and innovation but face challenges like finding suitable housing during their studies in Canada.

Financial Adjustment for Study Permit Applicants

To address these challenges, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, has announced significant changes effective January 1, 2024.

The financial requirement for study permit applicants, which has remained unchanged since the early 2000s, will be increased. This adjustment ensures that international students are financially prepared for their life in Canada.

Going forward, this requirement will be updated annually based on Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO), reflecting the minimum income needed for essential expenses.

New Financial Thresholds for Study Permit Applicants

The current financial requirement, set at $10,000 for a single applicant, no longer adequately covers the cost of living.

Starting in 2024, a single applicant must demonstrate $20,635, representing 75% of LICO, in addition to covering the first year of tuition and travel costs.

This change applies to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.

Pilots to Assist Underrepresented Groups

Recognizing that these adjustments may impact applicants differently, the government plans to collaborate with partners to implement targeted pilots in 2024.

These pilots will explore new ideas to assist underrepresented groups of international students in pursuing their studies in Canada.

Reforms to the International Student Programme

This announcement follows recent reforms to the International Student Programme, emphasising the importance of learning institutions providing quality services and support, including housing, to international students.

The government expects institutions to accept only the number of students they can adequately support.

Updates on Temporary Policies

To further safeguard international students, Minister Miller provided updates on three temporary policies:

Extension of the Off-Campus Work Limit:

The extension of the 20-hour-per-week limit on off-campus work until April 30, 2024.

Continuation of Online Study Measure:

The continuation of the measure allows online study time to count towards post-graduation work permits, applicable to students starting programs before September 1, 2024.


The government acknowledges the significant contributions of international students to Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric.

These changes, including the overdue increase in the cost-of-living threshold, aim to provide better financial security for international students as they embark on their educational journey in Canada.

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