Policy for Canada international students in 2024

The new year has arrived, and today we are going to introduce a series of reforms announced by Minister Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship on December 7, 2023, to address financial challenges and provide support for students studying in Canada. Provide support, a major initiative designed to enhance the experience of international students in Canada.

Effective January 1, 2024, living cost requirements for study permit applicants will increase to ensure international students are fully prepared for life in Canada. The threshold will be adjusted annually based on Statistics Canada’s Low Income Criteria (LICO), which represents the minimum income required to meet essential needs. The change is a response to outdated financial requirements that have not been adjusted since the early 2000s.

Beginning in 2024, single applicants will need to demonstrate possession of $20,635, equivalent to 75% of LICO, in addition to first-year tuition and travel expenses. The changes are intended to prevent students from facing financial difficulties upon arrival in Canada. The new requirements will apply to study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.

Minister Miller also provided an update on 3 temporary policies affecting international students that are all set to expire at the end of 2023, including:

Relaxation of working hours for international students

Typically, international students are only allowed to work off-campus for 20 hours per week during regular semesters and 40 hours per week during breaks such as summer vacation. In the fall of 2022, the Canadian government implemented a new temporary measure that allows international students to work unlimited hours during classes. This measure was originally scheduled to last until December 2023. This year, this measure has now been extended until April 30, 2024! Options for this policy will continue to be examined in the future, such as extending the number of off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week during classes, meaning international students have the opportunity to earn more and gain further work experience during their stay in Canada.

Online courses taken overseas can also be used to calculate post-graduation work permit qualifications

This accommodation, which allows international students to count online study time towards the duration of a future post-study work permit, will continue to apply to students as long as this time represents less than 50% of the study course. But as the epidemic eases, the vast majority of international students have studied in person in Canada. However, this measure will no longer apply to students who start their study program on or after September 1, 2024.

The additional 18-month post-graduation work permit will be discontinued

In response to the chaos in the labor market during the epidemic and post-epidemic recovery, the country has issued temporary policies three times to provide post-graduation work permit holders with an additional 18-month work permit when the initial work permit is about to expire. Foreign citizens holding a post-graduation work permit as of December 31, 2023 are still eligible to apply. However, this temporary policy will not be extended further.