Canada doubles cost-of-living requirements for international students - Hindustan Times
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Canada doubles cost-of-living requirements for international students

Dec 09, 2023 06:40 AM IST

An announcement in this regard by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that for new study permit applications received on or after January 1 next year, a single applicant will “need to show they have CA$20,635 (approximately ₹12.7 lakh), as against CA$10,000 (about ₹ 6.14 lakh) earlier

Amid a cost-of-living crisis in the country, Canada is more than doubling the amount of funds that international students will have to bring in to support themselves.

The move comes amid a housing affordability crisis and reports of international students turning to food banks. (File)
The move comes amid a housing affordability crisis and reports of international students turning to food banks. (File)

An announcement in this regard by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that for new study permit applications received on or after January 1 next year, a single applicant will “need to show they have CA$20,635 (approximately 12.7 lakh), as against CA$10,000 (about 6.14 lakh) earlier.

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Explaining the increase, the release stated, “The cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants has not changed since the early 2000s, when it was set at $10,000 for a single applicant. 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.”

“We are revising the cost-of-living threshold so that international students understand the true cost of living here. This measure is key to their success in Canada,” Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller said.

The move comes amid a housing affordability crisis and reports of international students turning to food banks. IRCC will also take measures to act against educational institutions that do not arrange adequate housing for incoming international students, including potentially capping visas. “We expect learning institutions to only accept the number of students that they can provide adequate supports for, including housing options,” the IRCC release noted.

In welcoming international students, the release said, the Canadian Government had “a responsibility to make sure that students are supported when they come to our country.”

Therefore, ahead of the September 2024 semester, IRCC is “prepared to take necessary measures, including limiting visas, to ensure that designated learning institutions provide adequate and sufficient student supports as part of the academic experience.”

At a media interaction on Thursday in Ottawa, Miller said there were diploma mills that did not provide international students with “a legitimate student experience” and described that as “fraud and abuse” which needed “to end.”

Vaughan, Ontario-based Immigration expert Naresh Chavda said the doubling of the reserve fund for students will have an adverse impact on applications, as the amount it will cost a student to apply for a visa will now escalate. “It will be an almost 35 to 50 lakh project before a person even enters Canada,” he estimated.

This includes the requirement at the time of applying to provide proof of funds for one year of study at an institution as well as air fare to Canada. The cost-of-living fund is deposited through wire transfer at a designated Canadian bank, in what is called a guaranteed investment certificate or GIC account.

Chavda, president of Globayan Immigration Corporation, said, “It will definitely have an effect (on volume of applications from India) from next year.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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