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Vancouver Immigration Lawyers Share Changes Cost of Living Requirements for Student Visas

starting January 1, 2024, New applicants will need to show they have C$20,635 to cover the first year of living expenses in Canada

This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire

Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/18/2024 -- Coming to Canada is about to get more challenging for students, according to the Canadian Immigration Lawyers at Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver . On December 7, 2023, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that starting January 1, 2024, international students will be required to have more funds to be granted a student visa to ensure they can afford the costs of living in Canada. For more, go to

Speaking to reporters, the Minister acknowledged that there may be unintended consequences from the increase in financial requirements, which are more than doubling from $10,000 to $20,635 to cover the first year of living expenses in Canada. Still, he felt it was necessary so students would not feel forced to work to make ends meet.

International students have always been required to demonstrate they have enough financial resources to afford studying in Canada. Before the Minister's announcement, students needed to demonstrate that they could afford the first year of expenses in Canada, including $10,000 for living expenses for a single person and additional funds for tuition and travel costs to come to Canada.

However, given the current cost-of-living crisis, the Minister determined that the $10,000 amount requires updating to match current realities and to ensure that international students who come to Canada have realistic expectations about what it will cost to live here to complete their studies.

As Canadian immigration lawyers, it is unlikely that increasing financial requirements will dissuade international students from applying for student visas. Families typically find a way to raise the needed funds to achieve an immigration goal, even if it means taking some extreme measures. For example, the Minister noted that it's possible for several people to pool funds to send a student to Canada or that individuals will find ways to move money around to the prospective student's bank account to make it appear they have enough funding.

However, the Minister's announcement will likely cause some far-reaching consequences. Lawyers at Sas and Ing have frequently met international students who have been refused student visas not because they did not have sufficient funds but because immigration visa officers found it unreasonable to spend so much on an education in Canada when there were possibly cheaper alternatives closer to home. In other words, even prospective international students who meet the higher threshold of having $20,635 or more for living expenses may experience higher rates of refusal because the overall cost of an education in Canada now represents a more significant percentage of their net worth or their family's net worth.

Ultimately, based on the experience representing international students, the overall interest in coming to Canada to study will not likely wane until the root problems are addressed. Primarily, the intense interest comes from the fact that many international students are led to believe by unscrupulous immigration agents and others that it is an easy pathway to obtaining Canadian permanent residence.

Even the Minister seemed to acknowledge this fact when he stated that some families will do what it takes to meet the increased financial requirements if they feel that the student will help the family's future. This might occur, for instance, if they believed that the student could one day become a permanent resident and sponsor the family to come to Canada or that the student could have a much higher earning potential in Canada after acquiring permanent status and will be able to support family members back home financially.

Contrary to popular belief, it is rather difficult for international students to become permanent residents without a planned and executed strategy. Many international students are unaware that English and/or French proficiency is a significant factor when determining whether they will be able to acquire permanent resident status and will spend most of their time in Canada speaking their first language outside the classroom. Many do not know that it is doubtful they will qualify for permanent residency without having already earned some skilled work experience back home. They may also be unaware that the work experience they earn while still a student in Canada does not count towards qualifying for permanent residency or be misled into believing that their chosen program of study in Canada will allow them to get a work permit after graduation.

These are just some examples of the misconceptions regarding Canada's International Student Program, all observed during years of immigration law practice.

Only time will tell whether the Minister's latest announcement will improve the quality of life for the average international student in Canada and whether there will be a noticeable decrease in the number of international students in Canada.

To learn more about immigrating to or to seek representation, contact the Vancouver immigration lawyers at Sas and Ing at 604-689-5444.

About Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre
Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre has over 30 years of continued in-depth and comprehensive expertise in most aspects of Canadian Immigration practice. Sas and Ing have facilitated applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and Canada Border Services Agency. Catherine & Victor work closely with other lawyers specializing in Business, Employment, Tax, and Real Estate to provide comprehensive legal advice to companies and individuals as they navigate the regulatory requirements necessary for temporary or permanent establishment in Canada.

For additional information, please visit or call (604) 689-5444

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre
Catherine Sas
(604) 689-5444
Company website:

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Media Relations Contact

Catherine Sas
Telephone: 1-604-689–5444
Email: Click to Email Catherine Sas

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