Amidst the escalating cost of living crisis, the Canadian government has delivered a jolt to international students by more than doubling the required funding for their support upon entering the country. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that new study permit applicants, starting January 1 next year, must demonstrate 20,635 Canadian dollars (Rs. 12.7 lakhs in Indian currency), a significant increase from the previous 10,000 Canadian dollars (Rs. 6.14 lakhs in Indian currency).
The government clarified that this adjustment was essential as the cost of living for study permit applicants had remained stagnant since the early 2000s, despite changing circumstances and increased financial needs. Analysts emphasize that the previous funding amount was insufficient given current conditions.
Immigration Minister Marc Miller highlighted the revision of cost-of-living standards, expressing hope that international students would comprehend the actual expenses. This decision comes as reports indicate international students relying on food banks due to the housing crisis. IRCC has also taken measures to address inadequate housing by potentially capping visas and penalizing non-compliant educational institutions.
While Canada attracts students globally due to its high living standards, quality education, and employment opportunities, the severe housing crisis poses challenges. The Trudeau government faces the dilemma of imposing restrictions on international student arrivals to address housing issues and labor shortages, presenting a political challenge for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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