Q&A on Canada’s increase in income requirements for foreign students

Foreign students Canada

Q: What are the new requirements for foreign students studying in Canada?

A: Starting in 2024, prospective international students must show access to $20,635, up from the long-standing $10,000 requirement, in addition to covering travel and tuition costs. The amount will be adjusted annually based on Statistics Canada benchmarks.

Q: When does the new financial requirement apply, and is it a one-time payment?

A: The new minimum financial requirement applies to study permit applications received on or after Jan 1, 2024. It is a one-time payment, increasing the previous $10,000 to $20,635.

Q: Who is eligible to work more than 20 hours a week, and what’s the status of the waiver?

A: Currently, any international student without an employment visa can work over 20 hours off-campus. The waiver allowing this will be extended to April 30, 2024, for current students. This extension applies to those already in Canada or who submitted study permit applications by December 7, 2023.

Q: Will this address concerns about diploma mills and fraudulent colleges?

A: While no specific actions against colleges have been announced, the new measures aim to combat fraud and abuse. Canada is challenging provinces to address the issue and threatening to cap visas for those failing to do so. The objective is to ensure international students aren’t exploited by dubious employers or unscrupulous schools.

Q: How does the new financial requirement benefit international students?

A: The increased financial requirement is seen as a move toward transparency. While it may lead to fewer applicants, observers believe it will better prepare students for the economic reality in Canada, making them less vulnerable to exploitation. Some suggest the requirement could have been phased in, but it is acknowledged as a positive step in combating fraud in the system.

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