Strengthening Support for International Students: Cost-of-Living Adjustment and Policy Updates

Lejia Feng Newcomer Information

Canada announced significant changes set to take effect from January 1, 2024, recognizing the challenges faced by international students, particularly in securing adequate housing.

The cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants will be increased to better prepare international students for life in Canada. The adjustment, long overdue since the early 2000s, reflects the rising cost of living. Starting in 2024, a single applicant must demonstrate financial readiness by showing $20,635, representing 75% of the low-income cut-off (LICO), in addition to their first-year tuition and travel costs.

This adjustment aims to prevent vulnerability, offering arriving students a stronger financial footing. In 2024, targeted pilots will support underrepresented cohorts of international students. Recent reforms to the International Student Program emphasize the importance of learning institutions providing quality services and housing support.

The Government also provided updates on three temporary policies affecting international students, including an extension of the 20-hour-per-week off-campus work limit until April 30, 2024. These changes demonstrate Canada’s commitment to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for international students.

To learn more about the updates, please visit: Revised requirements to better protect international students – Canada.ca