In a recent development, Canada has increased the Proof of Funds (PoF) requirement for international students, a move expected to impact prospective students, especially from countries like Nigeria. The PoF, which demonstrates a student’s ability to support themselves and their families during their studies, has been raised from $10,000 to $20,635 Canadian dollars, in addition to the first year’s tuition and travel expenses.
The adjustment, effective for study permit applications submitted on or after January 1, 2024, aims to provide a more realistic reflection of the actual cost of living in Canada. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, emphasized the importance of these changes in ensuring the success of international students in Canada and safeguarding them from financial vulnerabilities.
Nigerians, constituting a significant portion of international students in Canada, are expected to feel the impact of this increase. Notably, Canada received an impressive 21,845 study permit applications from Nigerians in the first half of 2023, double the number received in the entire year of 2022.
This adjustment aligns with Canada’s broader immigration goals, with the country aiming to welcome 1,450,000 migrants between 2023 and 2025 to address labor shortages and contribute to economic growth. International education is a crucial contributor to Canada’s economy, generating over $22 billion annually and supporting more than 200,000 jobs.
In addition to the PoF increase, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has extended the waiver on the number of hours international students are allowed to work off-campus while classes are in session until April 30, 2024. This extension aims to provide further support to international students during their studies in Canada.
While the PoF increase may pose challenges for prospective international students, it reflects Canada’s commitment to ensuring students are adequately prepared for the cost of living and maintaining the economic benefits derived from international education.