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New Guidelines for International Students in Canada 2024

1. Adjusted Cost of Living

The current cost of living requirement, effective January 1, 2024, is set at $20,635, in addition to the initial year’s tuition and travel expenses for Canadian study permits. This requirement varies based on the number of accompanying family members, with an increased amount needed.

Previously stagnant since the early 2000s at $10,000, this adjustment aims to address the evolving needs of international students in Canada.

Number of Family Members (including the applicant)

Amount of Funds Required per Year (not including tuition)















If there are more than seven people

CAN$5,559 per additional family member

2. Quota on International Student Visas

Canada has implemented a cap on visas for international students, reducing the number of permits by approximately 35%. In 2024, Canada aims to issue a maximum of 360,000 new study permits, with an overall cap set at 606,250.

Exceptions to this quota include certain categories such as new study permit applications or extensions within Canada, primary and secondary school level studies, and graduate degree programs at the master’s or doctoral level.

3. Introduction of Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) Requirement

Effective January 22, 2024, most new study permit applications submitted require a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province or territory of intended study. The process for issuing PAL is expected to be developed by March 31, 2024.

Exceptions to this requirement include applications for preschool, primary, and secondary school studies, master’s or doctoral degree programs, and study permit extensions within Canada.

4. Modification in Spousal Open Work Permit Eligibility

Open work permits will now be limited to spouses of international students pursuing graduate (master’s and doctorate) and professional degree programs. Spouses of students in other levels of study, such as undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible.

Eligibility criteria remain unchanged for spouses seeking to extend existing work permits.

5. Amendments to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility

Starting February 15, 2024, graduates completing master’s degree programs in less than two years will be eligible for a longer, three-year post-graduation work permit. PGWP duration for programs other than master’s degrees will align with the program length, up to a maximum of three years.

Additionally, starting September 1, 2024, international students enrolled in study programs under curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer qualify for a post-graduation work permit upon graduation.


These updated regulations for international students in Canada aim to ensure a smooth and successful academic and cultural experience while addressing evolving needs and priorities. It’s essential for prospective and current international students to familiarize themselves with these changes to navigate their Canadian educational journey effectively.

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