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Five Key Changes to Canada Student Permit Rules in 2024

Five Key Changes to Canada Student Permit Rules in 2024

Dreaming of studying in the great White North ? As you all know, Canada remains on the top for international education, but at the same time, 2024, brings some crucial changes to the student permit process.
You don’t have to worry at all !
We are going to break down the five key changes that you need to know so that you can ease your application and be on your way to Canadian classrooms in no time .

1.Temporary Cap on student permits

The most significant shift is in the introduction of a temporary cap on the number of student permits in 2024 . The Canadian government aims to limit approvals to roughly 360,000 showing 35% decrease compared to 2023 .
The cap is intended to manage student intake and ensure adequate resources for existing students and infrastructure.

But wait, there’s something else also!
Not all programs fall under this restriction,
● Students pursuing K-12 (elementary and secondary) education.
● Masters and Doctoral degree programs

That clearly states that undergraduate university, students and college applicants will be most impacted by the Cap.

2.Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

A new requirement for most student permit applications is this provincial attestation letter (PAL) . Students applying for undergraduate or graduate certificate or diploma programs must require a PAL from the specific province or territory where they are planning to study.

Well, this letter verifies the legitimacy of your chosen institution and its designated learning status!

Specific categories of international students are exempt from the requirement to submit a provincial attestation letter (PAL) when applying for study permits in Canada. The caps implementation exams, international students, those who have submitted their applications to IRCC before January 22 at 8:30 am. Also, it exempts those who have already received an approval for a study permit and intend to travel to Canada.

Students having exemption from PAL requirements include the following:
● Students enrolled in primary and secondary schools
● Individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees
● Visiting or exchange program participants
● Holders of in-Canada study permits and work permits (including those applying for permit extensions)
● Family members residing in Canada under study permit or work permit holders
3.Increased Cost of Living Requirement:
The minimum amount of financial support you need to demonstrate has also been revised. As of January 1st, 2024, applicants must show proof of funds sufficient to cover a cost of living of CAD $20,635 annually, excluding tuition fees. This is a significant increase from the previous requirement of CAD $10,000.
Quebec Exception:
There’s a slight variation for students planning to study in Quebec. The minimum proof of financial support needed is CAD $15,078, with an exception for students under 18 who require CAD $7,541 minimum.
4.Changes to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP):
The PGWP allows international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience after graduation. While the core program remains, there are specific updates to be aware of:
● Curriculum Licensing Arrangement Exclusion: Effective September 1st, 2024, graduates of programs delivered through curriculum licensing agreements won’t be eligible for a PGWP. These arrangements involve private colleges offering the curriculum of a public college.

● Extended PGWP for Master’s Graduates: Great news for master’s degree graduates! Starting in 2024, they’ll be eligible to apply for a three-year PGWP, providing more time to gain work experience and potentially qualify for permanent residency.
5.Changes to Spousal Open Work Permit Eligibility of International Students
Canada recently announced a revision to the eligibility criteria for open work permits granted to spouses and common-law partners of international students. This means some spouses’ ability to work in Canada while their partners study will be impacted.
Previously, spouses of students enrolled in full-time programs could apply for Spousal Open Work Permits (SOWPs). However, moving forward, only spouses and partners of students pursuing Master’s, Doctoral, or professional degrees (like law or medicine) will be eligible. This change excludes spouses of students in undergraduate and other college programs.
While this might seem like a restriction, it’s part of Canada’s broader strategy to improve the overall experience for international students. The government aims to manage international student intake while ensuring a high standard of education. Ultimately, these adjustments aim to solidify Canada’s position as a top destination for international students, offering both academic excellence and a welcoming environment for personal and professional development.

Thinking about exploring other Canadian immigration options? You can take expertise in Canada of Canada business visa consultants in Dubai , Canada work visa services in Dubai, and Canada Startup Visa from Dubai.

Canada remains a land of opportunity for international students. By familiarizing yourself with the latest changes to student permit regulations, particularly the temporary cap and the Provincial Attestation Letter requirement, you can prepare yourself for a successful application. Remember, seeking professional guidance from experienced consultants can significantly improve your chances of securing your Canadian student permit.
Let’s see some FAQs now!
When will the cap on student permits be lifted?
The current cap is a two-year measure. The exact date for lifting it hasn’t been announced yet, but a decision is expected by the end of 2024.
What if I submitted my student permit application before the new rules came into effect?
Applications submitted before the announced changes (typically January 22nd, 2024) will be processed according to the previous regulations.
Should I consider using a consultant for my student visa application?
While not mandatory, using a regulated immigration consultant can be beneficial. They can guide you through the application process, ensure all documents are in order, and offer support in navigating the new regulations.
How much money do I need to show for a student permit application?
The minimum proof of funds needed has increased. As of 2024, you need to show CAD $20,635 annually for living expenses (excluding tuition) unless you’re studying in Quebec (different minimums apply).
Who is exempt from the student permit cap?
Students pursuing K-12 (elementary and secondary) education, Master’s degrees, and Doctoral degrees are exempt from the cap.


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