Canada to double cost-of-living requirement for int'l students

By Lin Wei
  • World
  • Friday, 08 Dec 2023

OTTAWA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government announced Thursday it will more than double the cost-of-living financial requirement for incoming international students on Jan. 1, 2024.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller said in a news release that a single applicant will need to show they have 20,635 Canadian dollars (15,181 U.S. dollars) in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs.

The cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants has not changed since the early 2000s, when it was set at 10,000 Canadian dollars (7,357 U.S. dollars). As such, 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, the release said.

Miller said this threshold will be adjusted each year when Statistics Canada updates the low-income cut-off (LICO). LICO represents the minimum income necessary to ensure that an individual does not have to spend a greater than average portion of income on necessities.

"In welcoming international students, we have a responsibility to make sure that students are supported when they come to our country," Miller said, adding that ahead of the September 2024 semester, measures, including limiting visas, will be taken to ensure that designated learning institutions provide adequate and sufficient student supports as part of the academic experience.

International education accounts for more than 22 billion Canadian dollars (16 billion U.S. dollars) in economic activity annually, greater than Canada's exports of auto parts, lumber or aircraft, and supports more than 200,000 jobs in Canada, the release said.

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