The Canadian study permit cost will be raised in January 2024 by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This update states the living cost requirements for study permit applicants, marking a significant change.

This revision, the first since the early 2000s, increases the cost-of-living requirement from $10,000 to $20,635 for each applicant, in addition to tuition and travel costs for the first year.

The IRCC recognizes that the prior financial requirement is outdated and doesn’t accurately reflect the current living costs for students in Canada. The increase aims to reduce the risks of exploitation and vulnerability among students. In response to the potential challenges this raises, the IRCC plans to introduce specific programs to assist underrepresented international student groups.

The IRCC is committed to annually updating the cost-of-living requirement to align with the low-income cut-off (LICO) statistics from Statistics Canada.

LICO is defined as the minimum income level necessary in Canada to avoid spending a disproportionately large part of income on basic needs.

For international students, this adjustment means that their financial requirements will closely follow the annual cost of living changes in Canada, as determined by LICO. These adjustments will more accurately reflect the economic reality of the country.

Comparing the cost of studying in Canada with Other Countries Worldwide

While the Canadian study permit and cost-of-living requirement for international students in Canada is set to rise in 2024, they remain comparable to expenses in other popular educational destinations like New Zealand and Australia, keeping Canada competitive in the global education market despite being higher than some countries.

The required funds for living expenses in Australia are around $21,826 CAD, and $20,340 CAD in New Zealand. In England, the costs vary between $15,680 CAD and $20,447 CAD.

In contrast, the United States asks international students to demonstrate at least $10,000 USD annually, and countries like France, Germany, and Denmark have lower living costs, with Denmark’s requirement being around $1,175 CAD.

Despite these cost differences, Canada remains a highly favored destination for international students. A study by IDP Education in March 2023 revealed that Canada is the preferred choice for many, with over 25% of respondents choosing it over other major destinations like the USA, Australia, and the UK.

Canada’s reputation as a prime study destination is rooted in its excellent education system, with universities and colleges globally recognized for their high standards. The Canadian government and universities offer a variety of scholarships, grants, and financial support for international students based on different criteria, including academic merit and financial need.

Job opportunities and post-study work advantages for overseas students in Canada

International students who have a Canadian study permit benefit from the opportunity to work part-time during their studies, gaining valuable work experience and income support. The government allows up to 20 hours of work per week during the semester and full-time work during breaks.

A major benefit for international students in Canada is the availability of post-graduation work opportunities. The country offers different work permits, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which can be valid for up to 3 years, depending on the study program. This work experience is crucial for those applying for Canadian permanent residence.

The IDP Education study highlighted that post-study work opportunities significantly influence students’ choice of study destination, with a majority indicating a desire to apply for work permits after graduation.

Despite the increased living costs, Canada is expected to maintain its appeal as a top study destination, with projections showing a significant rise in international student numbers in the coming years.

IRCC’s internal policy document forecasts a continued increase in international student numbers, expecting to surpass one million by 2024, with further growth anticipated in the following years.

The recent trends in study permit issuance by the IRCC suggest a record-breaking number of permits in 2023, exceeding the high figures of 2022, indicating a sustained interest in studying in Canada.

IRCC data shows a steady increase in international student enrollment and study permit issuance in Canada, a trend expected to continue beyond 2023.

Pax Law can help you!

Our immigration lawyers and consultants are willing, ready, and able to assist you in meeting the requirements necessary to apply for a Canadian student visa. Please visit our appointment booking page to make an appointment with one of our lawyers or consultants; alternatively, you can call our offices at +1-604-767-9529.


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