Canada rolled out stricter rules for international students seeking to study in the country. This update includes a significant increase in the financial requirements for these students applying for study permits. If provinces and educational institutions don't comply before the upcoming fall term, Canada has warned that it will sharply reduce the number of visas issued.
In addition to the financial changes, the government has prolonged the allowance for international students to work more than 20 hours a week off-campus until April 30, 2024.
Marc Miller, Canada's Immigration Minister, expressed concerns about certain educational institutions, likening them to "puppy mills" for diplomas. He stressed the urgency to tackle fraud and misuse within the system, aiming to safeguard international students from potential exploitation.
Miller clarified that if provinces don't take necessary actions, the federal government is prepared to step in. "Enough is enough. If provinces and territories cannot do this, we will do it for them, and they will not like the bluntness of the instruments that we use," he stated.
The financial requirement for prospective students will be raised to $20,635, doubling the previous threshold of USD $10,000. This move aims to ensure students can cover living costs, travel, and tuition fees. The amount will be adjusted annually based on Statistics Canada benchmarks for living expenses.
Miller highlighted the responsibility of learning institutions to manage the intake of international students, ensuring they can provide suitable housing or assistance in finding off-campus accommodation. He mentioned that some institutions might need to be shut down to address these concerns.
The objective of these changes is to address issues such as international students struggling to find suitable housing and being compelled into exploitative jobs.