January 17, 2024

IRCC Doubles Cost-of-Living Requirement for Study Permit Applicants

As of January 1, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is implementing a significant change for international students seeking to study in Canada. The cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants will be doubled, jumping from the current $10,000 to a new minimum of $20,635. This change reflects the rising cost of living in Canada and aims to ensure that international students arrive with sufficient financial resources to meet their basic needs without encountering financial difficulties.

The Need for an Updated Cost-of-Living Requirement

The current cost-of-living requirement of $10,000 has been in place since the early 2000s and has not been adjusted since. This amount has become outdated and no longer accurately reflects the actual cost of living in Canada, especially in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver. IRCC acknowledges that international students have been arriving with insufficient funds, leaving them vulnerable to financial hardship and potential exploitation.

Responding to the Changing Landscape

The new cost-of-living requirement of $20,635 is based on Statistics Canada's Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO), which measures the minimum income level needed to meet basic necessities in Canada. This ensures that international students arrive with enough resources to cover their essential expenses, including food, housing, transportation, and other necessities.

Furthermore, IRCC has committed to adjusting the cost-of-living requirement annually based on future LICO updates. This ensures that the requirement remains accurate and reflects the evolving cost of living in Canada.

Impact on Study Permit Applications

The increased cost-of-living requirement will apply to all study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024. This includes applications submitted through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which is a faster processing stream available to residents of 14 countries.

International students who are concerned about meeting the new financial requirement should carefully review their financial resources and plan accordingly. They may need to seek additional funding sources, such as scholarships, grants, or personal savings.

Supporting International Students

While IRCC recognizes that the increased cost-of-living requirement may pose challenges for some students, it emphasizes that the measure is ultimately designed to protect their well-being and prevent financial vulnerability. Additionally, IRCC has announced several initiatives to support international students:

  1. Targeted pilot programs: IRCC will be implementing targeted pilot programs in 2024 to help underrepresented cohorts of international students pursue their studies in Canada.
  2. Extended work hours: The current waiver on the 20-hour per week work limit for international students has been extended until April 30, 2024. This temporary measure provides eligible students with the opportunity to earn additional income to support their living expenses.
  3. Changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP):
  4. The ability to count online study terms towards the PGWP eligibility has been extended until September 1, 2024.
  5. The temporary policy that provided a 18-month extension to PGWPs will not be extended further. The deadline to apply for this extension is December 31, 2023.


The increased cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants represents a significant change for international students seeking to study in Canada. While this update may present challenges for some, it ultimately aims to ensure their financial well-being and success while studying in Canada. By implementing additional support measures and adjusting future requirements based on the evolving cost of living, IRCC demonstrates its commitment to providing international students with a positive and enriching educational experience in Canada.

Pelican Migration Consultants: Your Partner in Navigating Canada's Immigration Landscape

At Pelican Migration Consultants, we understand that the increased cost-of-living requirement for study permits in Canada can be a significant concern for international students. We are here to support you throughout the application process and help you navigate the new financial requirements.

Our expertise includes:

  1. Understanding the latest IRCC regulations and updates.
  2. Providing accurate and personalized advice on meeting the financial requirements.
  3. Helping you gather and prepare the necessary documentation.
  4. Maximizing your chances of receiving a study permit.

Why choose us?

  1. Increased success rate: We have a proven track record of helping international students obtain study permits.
  2. Experienced team: Our team of immigration consultants in Dubai is composed of experienced professionals who are passionate about helping students succeed.
  3. Personalized attention: We will provide you with personalized guidance and support throughout the application process.
  4. Competitive rates: We offer competitive rates for our services.

Don't let the increased cost-of-living requirement deter you from pursuing your dream of studying in Canada. Contact Pelican Migration Consultants today and let us help you achieve your educational goals.