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Canada hikes proof of funds requirement to $20,635 for Nigerians, others

The power of emergency funds in an unpredictable Nigerian economy

Canada has increased cost of living Proof of Funds requirements for study permit applicants from other countries including Nigeria by 106.4 percent to $20,635.

This new policy will apply to new study permit applications received on/after January 1, 2024, according to a statement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on Thursday.

Currently, an applicant to Canada needs to show at least $10,000 in their bank account to prove that they can keep up with the cost-of-living in Canada.

“The cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants will be raised so that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada,” Marc Miller, Canada’s minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said in the statement.

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He said moving forward, this threshold will be adjusted each year when Statistics Canada updates the low-income cut-off (LICO).

“LICO represents the minimum income necessary to ensure that an individual does not have to spend a greater than average portion of income on necessities,” he added.

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

“As such, the financial requirement hasn’t kept up with the cost of living over time, resulting in students arriving in Canada only to learn that their funds aren’t adequate.”

The statement noted that for 2024, a single applicant will need to show they have $20,635, representing 75 percent of LICO, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs.

“This change will apply to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024.”

“While this will help prevent student vulnerability and exploitation, we recognize that the impact of the change could vary depending on the applicant,” it added.

Read also: Canada targets 485,000 immigrants from Nigeria, others by 2024

Data from IRCC shows that India (175,021), Nigeria (43,482) the Philippines (21,902), China (14,975) and Nepal (12,776) were among the top five source countries of new international students coming to Canada in the first six months of 2023.