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Canada increases minimum funds requirement, extends unlimited work hours for international students

The Canadian government recently announced that international students planning to study in Canada will need to show $20,635 in available funds, in additional to paying for their tuition and the fees required for accompanying family members.

Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship emphasized that this adjustment in the cost-of-living financial requirement is aimed at ensuring international students are financially prepared for life in Canada. “The financial requirement hasn’t kept up with the cost of living over time, resulting in students arriving in Canada only to learn that their funds aren’t adequate,” Miller said.

The new financial requirement is more than double the previous amount, which has been in place for the past decade, and will be applicable to study permit applications submitted on or after January 1, 2024. The amount is equivalent to 75% of Canada’s low-income cut off and will be adjusted annually based on Statistics Canada’s benchmark for living cost.

Miller also announced the extension of the waiver on the 20-hour per week limit for off-campus work for international students to April 30, 2024. Introduced in October 2022, this waiver was initially set to expire at the end of 2023. The measure aims to address Canada’s continuing labor shortage, with employers facing challenges in hiring and retaining workers.

Regarding the future of this program, Miller stated, “We continue to examine options for this policy in the future, such as expanding off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week while class is in session.”

VGC International College is an award-winning English language and business school in downtown Vancouver. Founded in 2003, VGC has built a strong academic reputation by offering high-quality and well-designed English courses and international business programs to students from over 85 nations. We strive to maintain a standard of excellence in order to provide our students with the best possible learning experience in Canada. VGC has three campus locations in Vancouver that are all within walking distance from each other.

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