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  • Writer's pictureHossein Alavi, RCIC

2024's Essential Update: Financial Requirements for Studying in Canada

Updated: Jan 17

Financial Readiness for International Students in Canada: 2024's Essential Guide

As Canada welcomes a diverse international student community, 2024 marks a significant shift in the financial requirements for those seeking to study in the country. This article aims to demystify these changes and offer guidance on how to navigate them successfully.

Understanding the Reasons Behind the Financial Requirement Changes

The financial requirements for international students in Canada are set for a significant update in 2024, a move aimed at reflecting the actual cost of living which has risen since the last adjustment in 2000. For over two decades, the financial benchmarks have remained unchanged, except in Quebec, which has periodically updated its requirements. This revision acknowledges the economic changes over the years and the need for international students to have sufficient resources to support themselves during their studies, fostering a stable and conducive educational environment.

The Heart of the Change: LICO’s 75% Calculation

The Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) is a benchmark used by the Canadian government to determine who falls below the poverty line. In a significant update for international students, starting in 2024, they will need to demonstrate financial resources that are 75% of the LICO. This shift is designed to ensure students can sustain the increasing living costs in Canada. It’s a move from a static figure to a more dynamic one that aligns with economic changes, making the financial requirement more reflective of the current standard of living.


Updated Financial Planning for International Students: Outside Quebec

As of January 1, 2024, international students planning to study outside Quebec must adhere to the revised financial requirements as per the IRCC guidelines. This table delineates the financial obligations for living expenses and the first year’s tuition, applicable to students and their families. These updated prerequisites are crucial for new and extending study permit applicants outside Quebec, ensuring sufficient funds are in place for the duration of their stay in Canada.

Size of Family Unit

Financial Requirement for International Students (75% of LICO)- (CAD)

One Person


Two Persons


Three Persons


Four Persons


Five Persons


Six Persons


Seven Persons


If more than seven persons, for each additional person, add



The Crucial Impact of Financial Requirement Changes on International Students

Understanding the updated financial requirements for international students in Canada is paramount. It's not just about complying with regulations; it's about ensuring students are financially prepared for the realities of living and studying in Canada. With the cost of living on the rise, these changes aim to safeguard students from financial hardships. Being well-informed about these requirements is crucial for a successful and stress-free educational experience. This topic is integral to the preparation and well-being of international students embarking on their academic journey in Canada.

What Does This Mean for International Students?

International students will now need to show they have access to C$20,635 for living expenses, up from the previous C$10,000. This figure is in addition to the first year’s tuition fees and travel costs, providing a more comprehensive view of the economic resources required for studying in Canada. Whether the program is two years or longer, only the initial year's tuition and living expenses must be shown. For those already in Canada and planning to extend their study permit post-January 1, 2024, these financial requirements will apply.

Proving Your Financial Mettle: How to Do It

Students can prove their financial readiness in several ways. A Canadian bank account in your name, showing transferred funds, is a straightforward approach. For many, a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a Canadian financial institution serves as robust proof. Alternatively, evidence of a student loan, detailed bank statements from the past four months, or a bank draft in Canadian dollars are also valid. It’s also common to show proof of tuition and housing fee payments.

Financial sponsorship is another avenue. If a family member or a guardian is sponsoring your education, they need to provide a letter of support. This letter should detail their relationship to you, their financial ability, and the commitment level to support your education.


Quebec's Unique Financial Requirements for International Students

The Quebec government has outlined specific living expenses for international students for the year 2024. These expenses vary based on the age and number of people included in the application. The living expenses cover daily life costs in Quebec. In addition to these living expenses, students must also demonstrate their ability to cover other costs such as transportation, a $500 settlement fee for the first year, and health and hospital insurance costs.

The following table (valid between January 1 and December 31, 2024) illustrates these living expenses, helping students and families planning to study in Quebec make informed financial preparations.

Size of Family Unit

Living Expenses (CAD) for International Students in Quebec

One person under the age of 18


One person aged 18 and over


Two people aged 18 and over


Two people aged 18 and over and one person under the age of 18


Two people aged 18 and over and two people under the age of 18



Navigating These Changes

While these changes may seem daunting, they are manageable with the right information and preparation. It’s about understanding the requirements and planning your finances accordingly. Remember, these changes are designed to ensure you can comfortably live and study in Canada without financial strain.


As we embrace these changes, it's crucial for prospective international students to stay informed and prepare well. By understanding and meeting these updated financial requirements, you ensure a smoother transition to your life as a student in Canada.

Need Help?

Navigating immigration and study permit processes can be complex. If you're looking for personalized guidance or assistance in meeting these financial requirements, particularly if you're considering studying in Canada, don't hesitate to reach out. Contact us today to learn how we can streamline the process for a successful transition to life in Canada.

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