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If you are planning to study in Canada, be aware that the cost of living for international students is set to increase in the upcoming year. On Thursday, the Canadian government adjusted the threshold for the cost of living requirement for international students to CA$ 20,635, up from the previous CA$ 10,000.

Beginning January 1, 2024, new applicants for study permits in Canada must demonstrate financial resources of CA$ 20,635, in addition to their first-year tuition and travel expenses. This new requirement, according to the Canadian government, constitutes 75 percent of the low-income cut-off (LICO) in Canada’s urban areas, with LICO subject to annual changes based on inflation.

What’s the cost-of-living requirement to study in Canada?

To meet the cost of living financial requirement, international students applying for Canadian study visas can present evidence through documents such as a bank statement, Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), a letter of financial support from a sponsor, or a scholarship/award letter. Maria Mathai, Founder and Director of MMA Services, noted that obtaining a GIC from an approved bank for CA$ 10,000 remains a popular method, with the funds dispersed quarterly after the student arrives in Canada.

Applicants can also fulfil the cost of living requirement by securing an education loan from approved Indian banks or by demonstrating sufficient financial net worth through their own and their family’s assets.
Canada's cost-of-living requirement for international students

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, emphasised that the adjustment aims to ensure international students understand the true cost of living in Canada, providing protection against financial vulnerability and exploitation. Notably, the CA$ 10,000 cost of living requirement for study permit applicants has remained unchanged since the early 2000s.

For Indian students, Canada has become a preferred study destination, with over 3.6 lakh students choosing to study there in 2022, an 86 percent increase over the past five years. The cost of studying in Canada varies based on the program, school, and location, with average tuition for international undergraduate and graduate students estimated at CA$ 36,100 and CA$ 21,100 per year, respectively. Living costs are approximately CA$ 15,000 per year for university students. Additionally, the total cost for a single applicant would now be CA$ 73,735, compared to the previous CA$ 63,000.

What does the hike mean for international students?

The adjustment is expected to affect diploma-bound students, especially those in one-year programs, as their security deposit for GIC has increased substantially. However, undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. students, the majority of whom have fully funded courses, are not anticipated to experience significant cost increases.

The diplomatic tension between India and Canada has led to a reduction in Canada’s capacity to process visas for diploma courses, potentially impacting the number of visa applicants for such programs due to the increased security deposit for living costs.

On a positive note, Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has extended the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week work limit for off-campus employment until April 30, 2024. This extension aims to provide international students with increased flexibility to manage their finances while studying in Canada.

How can this affect Indian students planning to study in Canada?

Despite the cost increase, Canada remains a preferred destination by Indian students, although the expense to send students there is expected to rise by approximately Rs 6.50 lakh. Parents are now required to arrange for additional funds to send their children to Canada.

With an industry expertise built over the last 30 years, we, at Jamboree, ensure that your study abroad journey is smooth and secure. That’s what helped our 200,000+ students successfully land admissions at their dream colleges abroad. To know how the hike in cost of living in Canada will impact your plans to study abroad, book a free call with our admissions counsellor.

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