One significant change is related to the long-awaited policies on full-time work and the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Extension for 2024.
This announcement follows the substantial alterations made to the International Student Program on October 27, 2023.
The changes include a new framework that rewards educational institutions providing high-quality services and assistance to international students, such as accommodation.
Financial Requirements Doubled for Study Permit Applicants
Starting January 1, 2024, the financial requirement for study permit applicants will be doubled. Currently, applicants must demonstrate a cost of living, mainly through a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000.
This amount will now be more than doubled to $20,635 for new applicants after January 1, 2024. The threshold will be adjusted annually based on Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO).
LICO represents the minimum income necessary to cover an individual’s basic needs without exceeding a certain portion of their income.
The increase aims to align the financial requirements with the rising cost of living, preventing international students from facing financial challenges upon arriving in Canada.
Cap on International Students Likely After Fall 2024
IRCC Minister Marc Miller also announced a probable cap on the number of international students accepted by educational institutions after Fall 2024. Institutions are expected to admit only the number of international students they can adequately support, including providing housing.
This decision is driven by the responsibility to ensure that international students receive the necessary support when they come to Canada. The government is willing to take steps, including limiting visas, to ensure recognized institutions provide sufficient student support.
The exemption from the 20-hour-per-week limit on off-campus work for international students will be extended until April 30, 2024.
This allows students in Canada and those who applied for a study permit by December 7, 2023, to work more than 20 hours per week off campus until the specified date. Future options, such as increasing off-campus work hours to 30 per week, are being explored.
For students starting a study program before September 1, 2024, the measure allowing online study hours to count toward the post-graduation work permit duration will remain in place.
This applies as long as online study constitutes less than 50% of the program. Students starting programs on or after September 1, 2024, will not be subject to this measure.
Unfortunately, there will be no extension of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) policy in 2024. Due to challenges in the job market caused by the pandemic and the recovery period that followed, a short-term policy was put in place three times.
This policy allowed those with post-graduation work permits to get an extra 18 months of work authorization after their initial permit expired.
If you have a post-graduation work permit expiring before December 31, 2023, you can apply for an extension under the PGWP extension 2023 policy.
But, it’s important to note that the government won’t continue this temporary policy. So, there won’t be a PGWP extension policy in 2024.