Immigration Minister Marc Miller recently announced measures to limit the number of international students coming to Canada by nearly doubling the funds required for student visa applicants. Mr. Miller highlighted the importance of ensuring that students are adequately supported and stated that starting on Jan. 1, 2024, applicants will need to show they have $20,635 in funds to support themselves in Canada, not including tuition.
The change in the required funds aims to reflect a more accurate cost of living level and enable international students to arrive in the country with the necessary resources to live and study in Canada. Mr. Miller also mentioned that future increases to the amount would be tied to the low-income cutoff published annually by Statistics Canada.
In addition to the financial adjustments, Mr. Miller announced that the waiver on the 20-hour per week off-campus work limit for international students would be extended to April 30, 2024. There are also discussions around potentially expanding the work limit to 30 hours per week while classes are in session, based on data showing that 80 percent of international students work more than 20 hours per week.
Moreover, Mr. Miller emphasized the responsibility of colleges and universities to ensure that there are enough resources to support students and expressed concerns about diploma mills and fraudulent activities within the education system. The number of international students in Canada has been steadily increasing, with over 807,000 study permit holders in the country in 2022, indicating the significant economic impact and the need for adequate support for these students.