New IRCC Updates For International Students 2023

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New IRCC updates for International Students: Today, Immigration Minister Marc Miller made new announcements for upcoming study permit applicants as well as international students already in Canada.
This includes the most-awaited announcements by foreign students, as we reported on December 1, 2023, regarding the full-time work policy for students in Canada as well as the Post-Graduation Work Permit—PGWP Extension 2024 policy.
Today’s statement comes on the heels of significant changes to the International Student Program announced on October 27, 2023, including the creation of a new framework to reward learning institutions that provide high-quality services and assistance, including accommodation, to international students.

Doubling the financial requirements for upcoming study permit applicants

The minister announced that the cost-of-living financial criterion for study permit applicants will be doubled beginning January 1, 2024, to ensure that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada.
Canada study permit applicants demonstrates cost-of-living mostly with GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) of $10,000.
This requirement will now be more than doubled to $20,635, effective for any new study permit applicants after January 1, 2024.
Furthermore, this threshold will be updated annually when Statistics Canada changes the low-income cut-off (LICO).
LICO is the minimal income required to ensure that an individual does not have to spend more than the average portion of their income on needs.
Since the early 2000s, when it was set at $10,000 for a single applicant, the cost-of-living threshold for study visa applicants has remained unchanged.
As a result, the financial need has not kept up with the cost of living over time, and students arrive in Canada only to discover that their money is insufficient.
In 2024, a single applicant must show that they have $20,635, or 75% of LICO, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel expenses.
This modification will be effective for new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.
Canada doubled this to help avoid student vulnerability and exploitation.
Next year, IRCC will also launch focused pilots with partners to test innovative approaches for assisting underrepresented cohorts of international students to pursue their studies in Canada.

Probable Cap on International Students coming after Fall 2024

The minister also announced that they expect educational institutions to accept just the number of students for whom they can provide necessary services, including housing.
The minister said they have a responsibility to ensure that overseas students are supported when they come to our country.
Furthermore, he said that they are willing to take the required steps, including limiting visas, ahead of the September 2024 semester to guarantee that recognized learning institutions provide enough and sufficient student support as part of the academic experience.
To reach this outcome, they will be collaborating with provincial and territorial governments, educational institutions, and other education stakeholders to ensure international students are prepared for success in Canada.

Full-Time Work Policy for International Students extended

The exemption from the 20-hour-per-week limit on the number of hours overseas students may work off campus while classes are in session will be extended until April 30, 2024.
International students who are already in Canada, as well as those who have already applied for a study permit as of December 7, 2023, will be authorized to work more than 20 hours per week off campus until April 30, 2024.
IRCC will continue to look into future options for this policy, such as increasing off-campus employment hours for international students to 30 hours per week while classes are in session.

Distance Learning Measures Extended

For students who begin a study program before September 1, 2024, the facilitative measure that allows international students to count time spent studying online towards the length of a future post-graduation work permit, as long as it constitutes less than 50% of the program of study, will remain in place.
Students who commence a study program on or after that date will no longer be subject to this measure.
Distance learning facilitation measures were first adopted in response to travel restrictions during the pandemic in 2020, and their breadth was reduced in September 2022.
The great majority of overseas students are currently studying in person in Canada.

No PGWP Extension 2024

In response to labour market difficulties during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, a temporary policy was implemented three times to offer post-graduation work permit holders an additional 18-month work permit once their initial work permit expired.
Foreign nationals possessing a post-graduation employment permit that expires before December 31, 2023, can still apply for an extension under the PGWP extension 2023 policy.
However, the minister made it clear that this temporary policy would not be continued further. So there will be no PGWP extension policy in 2024.

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