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The conditions for obtaining a study permit have been significantly modified since December 2023.

As of January 1, 2024, the required financial resources per year, excluding tuition fees, have increased from $10,000 to $20,635 for an individual. For a family of 4 (including the student), the requirement has increased from $20,000 before January 1, 2024, to $38,346 since that date. These additional resource conditions will likely deter many immigration candidates who have chosen to pursue studies in Canada.

Furthermore, as of January 22, 2024, the day the Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship made the announcement, the eligibility criteria for the study permit have been significantly strengthened.

These new measures are temporary according to IRCC and will be in place for 2 years.

Here are the changes in effect in brief.

  1. Attestation Letter as of January 22, 2024

Regardless of the duration of the planned studies, since January 22, 2024, it has been necessary to obtain an attestation letter from the concerned province or territory. This requirement also applies to individuals wishing to study in a program less than 6 months in duration, which otherwise does not require a study permit or CAQ (in Quebec).

Three cases in which the attestation letter is not required:

A minor applying to study at a primary or secondary school (from kindergarten to 12th grade);

A student enrolled in a master's, doctoral, or another postgraduate program;

A student applying for an extension of the study permit.

As of the writing of this article, no information is published regarding the conditions for obtaining this document in Quebec on the MIFI website. It is only indicated on the IRCC website that this letter is not the CAQ and that the provinces have until March 31, 2024, to set up the process for obtaining this letter.

2. Private School and Post-Graduation Work Permit

As of September 1, 2024, international students who start a study program as part of an educational program use agreement (private school) will no longer be eligible for a post-graduation work permit upon completion of their studies.

3. Year Work Permit for Master's and Short Programs

Graduates of master's programs and other short postgraduate programs will soon be able to apply for a work permit valid for three years regardless of the duration of the studies in question. The start date for this change is not specified (coming soon...).

4. Open Work Permit for the Spouse of a Master's or Doctoral Student

In the coming weeks, only the spouse of an international student in a master's or doctoral program will have access to an open work permit. The spouse of an international student at another level of schooling, including in a college or undergraduate program, will no longer be eligible.

Further modifications are likely to be made in the coming weeks.

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