International students will need double the amount of money in their bank accounts if they wish to study in Canada from January, the government has announced. 

The country’s immigration minister also warned that visa limits may be imposed if institutions do not provide adequate support to students, as the government attempts to tackle “exploitation” in the international student program. 

Minister Marc Miller confirmed on Thursday that anyone planning to study in Canada will need to show they have $20,635 in funds, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs, in order to be approved for a study permit.

Miller said the move was to stop students from realising they don’t have enough money to support themselves once they arrive in the country. The change will apply to new study permit applications received on or after January 1 2024.

“We are revising the cost-of-living threshold so that international students understand the true cost of living here,” he said. “This measure is key to their success in Canada.”

According to IRCC, the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants has not changed since the early 2000s, when it was set at $10,000. 

The government has also extended the uncapped work rights policy, which allows international students in Canada to work more than 20 hours per week, until April 30 2024, when the current academic year ends. 

IRCC is looking at permanently increasing the work allowance to 30 hours per week, but Miller ruled out allowing students to work full-time permanently, despite calls from student groups.  

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