Canada is a top destination for international students but they have also experienced some serious challenges, such as finding adequate housing, as they pursue their studies in Canada. To ensure that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada, the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants will be raised from January 1, 2024.
From now on, this cutoff will be modified annually by Statistics Canada’s updates to the low-income cutoff (LICO). LICO stands for the lowest income required to guarantee that a person does not have to spend a larger percentage of their income on necessities.
Since the early 2000s, when it was set at $10,000 for a single applicant, the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants has remained unchanged. As a result, the financial requirements have not kept up with the cost of living, and students arrive in Canada only to discover that their funds are insufficient.
In 2024, a single applicant must show that they have $20,635, or 75% of LICO, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel expenses. This modification will be effective for new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.
The new financial guidelines are also being applied to the Student Direct Stream, a special study permit application process available to residents of 14 countries.
Quebec has established its cost-of-living threshold for international students destined for Quebec’s learning institutions and has continued to raise this threshold periodically.
Canada is preparing to take the necessary steps, including limiting visas, before the September 2024 semester to ensure that designated learning institutions provide adequate student support as part of the academic experience.
International education accounts for more than $22 billion in economic activity annually, greater than Canada’s exports of auto parts, lumber, or aircraft, and supports more than 200,000 jobs in Canada.