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Recent Changes to Study Permits in Canada

study permit canada


To deal with the rising number of students coming from other countries, Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has brought significant changes to the International Student Program (ISP) starting in 2024. These steps are meant to help with better education and immigration chances all over Canada.

  1. Cost of Living Requirement

As of January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants was increased to better reflect the true cost of living in Canada. International students should have proof of funds showing at least $20,635 (previously $10,000) for living costs annually.

  1. Cap and Provincial Attestation Letter

Detailed Implementation of the New Cap

In 2024, IRCC will set a strict limit of about 360,000 new permits for international students. This is to slow down and stabilize the overall number of incoming students and make sure resources are used well such as housing, health care and other services in Canada.

Comprehensive Requirements for Provincial Attestation Letter

These new requirements mandate that most new college and undergraduate international students secure a provincial attestation to ensure adherence to allocated provincial caps.

Exemptions from the Provincial Attestation Letter Requirements

Certain international students do not require Provincial Attestation Letter after recent changes. The exemption list includes the following:

  • primary and secondary school students
  • master’s or doctoral degree students
  • in-Canada visiting or exchange students studying at a designated learning institution
  • in-Canada study permit and work permit holders (includes study permit holders applying for an extension)
  • in-Canada family members of study permit or work permit holders

students whose application we received before 8:30 a.m. EST on January 22, 2024

canada study permit
  1. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Update for Graduates of Master’s Degree Programs

Extended PGWP Coverage

Now, all master’s degree holders can get a three-year work permit, no matter how long their program is. This aims to boost their work experience in Canada.

Enhancing Workforce Integration Through PGWP

This plan helps them move more quickly to living here full-time by offering plenty of work experience locally, which is crucial to starting a career in Canada.

study permit declaration
  1. PGWP Eligibility for Public-Private Partnership College Programs

Inclusion of Public-Private Partnership Graduates in PGWP

Graduates from approved public-private partnership college programs are eligible for PGWP, reflecting IRCC’s recognition of diverse educational models.

Specific Eligibility Criteria for PGWP

Detailed standards and guidelines outline which partnership programs qualify, ensuring quality and relevance in education that aligns with Canadian workforce needs.

  1. Changes to Open Work Permit Eligibility for Spouses

Refined Eligibility Criteria for Open Work Permits

There is a significant change to a spousal open work permit. Spousal open work permits are strictly available to spouses or common-law partners of graduate and professional degree students. This change is justified with aligning spousal work permits with long-term economic contribution goals.

Restrictions on Open Work Permits Exclusion of partners of students in lower-level educational programs, prioritizing resources towards high potential contributors to the Canadian economy.

student intake canada


These updates reflect Canada’s commitment to a balanced approach in managing its international student intake and the associated benefits to the Canadian economy. These changes are designed to ensure the education system’s long-term sustainability and support student’s aspirations and integration into the Canadian workforce.

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