Canada has recently increased the financial requirement for international students from USD 10,000 to USD 20,635, effectively doubling the cost of living.
However, Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, is attempting to present this change as a reform.
As per an official statement, the modifications will come into effect starting from January 1, 2024. The purpose behind these alterations, as mentioned in the statement, is to ensure that international students are sufficiently equipped to meet the financial requirements of living in Canada.
As per the information provided, international students contribute valuable cultural, social, and economic advantages to their communities. However, they have encountered difficulties in adapting to life in Canada.
To address this, the cost-of-living threshold is being revised to provide international students with a clear understanding of the actual expenses they will incur. This adjustment is crucial for their success in Canada. Additionally, efforts are being made to explore solutions that guarantee students have access to suitable housing. These much-needed changes aim to safeguard international students from financial vulnerability and exploitation.
Since the start of the 2000s, the cost-of-living prerequisite has remained unchanged at USD 10,000 for an individual applicant. Nevertheless, in light of the changing cost of living, the threshold will now be increased to USD 20,635, which accounts for 75 percent of the low-income cut-off (LICO).
The decision is not solely a reaction to the increasing cost of living, but it also tackles the difficulties encountered by international students, including the search for appropriate accommodation. These changes are in line with the government’s dedication to safeguarding students from financial instability and abuse.
In order to provide additional assistance to marginalized groups of international students, the government intends to execute focused trial programs in conjunction with partners in 2024. These trials will assess innovative approaches to facilitate the educational journey of students encountering distinct obstacles while studying in Canada.
The declaration comes after the reforms made on October 27, 2023, to the International Student Programme. These reforms introduced a fresh structure to acknowledge educational institutions that offer excellent services and support, including accommodation. Furthermore, it is expected that learning institutions will only admit a suitable number of students that they can effectively assist.
Furthermore, Minister Miller delivered information regarding three temporary policies that impact international students. These policies consist of an elongation of the exemption on the 20-hour-per-week restriction for off-campus employment until April 30, 2024. Additionally, there is a continuation of a supportive measure that permits the inclusion of online study hours towards post-graduation work permits.
The government acknowledges the valuable contributions that international students make to Canada in terms of social, cultural, and economic aspects. However, it also highlights the importance of tackling the difficulties that have made certain students susceptible. According to the official statement, the revised cost-of-living threshold is considered a vital measure to guarantee the prosperity and welfare of international students in Canada.