In a recent announcement, the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, revealed that the Canadian government is set to raise the proof of funds requirement for international students, including Nigerians, seeking study permits.
The existing proof of funds, which stands at ₦8,025,000.00 ($10,000), will be increased to ₦16,050,000.0000 ($20,000) starting January 1, 2024.
Miller stated that the adjustment aims to ensure that international students are financially prepared for the cost of living in Canada. According to the statement released on Thursday, for the year 2024, a single applicant will be required to demonstrate possession of $20,635, representing 75% of the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO), in addition to covering their first-year tuition and travel expenses.
“This change will apply to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024,” the statement clarified.
The move comes after nearly two decades of maintaining the proof of funds requirement at $10,000 for study permit applicants. The review is positioned as a measure to prevent student vulnerability and exploitation.
This development in Canada coincides with recent changes introduced by the United Kingdom, making it more challenging for individuals, including Nigerians, to obtain visas. The UK government set a new minimum annual salary for foreign workers eligible for a skilled worker visa at £38,700, up from £26,200, excluding health and social care workers.
The adjustments sparked debates, with critics arguing that it imposes a double charge on migrant workers, considering existing National Insurance charges that contribute to healthcare coverage.
As the Canadian government implements the proof of funds review, it signals a broader trend of countries adjusting immigration and study permit requirements, potentially impacting prospective international students and their access to educational opportunities abroad.