March 14, 2024

As an international student pursuing post-secondary education in Canada, there are multiple ways Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows you to prove you have enough money to come to Canada.

As part of the Canadian study permit process, applicants must prove they have enough money to support themselves, as well as any family members who come to Canada with them.


Note: As of January 1 this year, the cost-of-living requirement has increased for students in all provinces and territories other than Quebec (see more below).

Providing IRCC with proof of financial support/sufficiency

According to IRCC, the department’s cost-of-living requirement is expressed in “base amounts” that include “all requirements related to transportation and other expenses, including the cost of books, equipment, and supplies.” These amounts prove that Canadian study permit applicants have sufficient funds to cover the following costs:

  • The first year of tuition fees, as indicated on the Letter of Acceptance(LOA) issued by their Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • Travel expenses to get to and from Canada
  • The minimum cost of living in Canada for one year

IRCC lists the following eight ways for study permit applicants to prove they can meet the cost-of-living financial requirement:

  • Proof of a Canadian bank account in the applicant’s name, if they have transferred money to Canada
  • A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
  • Proof of a student or education loan from a bank
  • The applicant’s bank statements for the past four months
  • A bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
  • Proof that the applicant has already paid tuition and housing fees
  • A letter from the person or school giving the applicant money for their living expenses and education
  • Proof of funding paid from within Canada, if the applicant has a scholarship or is enrolled in a Canadian-funded educational program

Note: IRCC clarifies that, in cases where an applicant’s home country uses foreign exchange controls, the applicant must prove that they will be allowed to export funds for all expenses.

IRCC’s new cost-of-living financial requirement

Since the start of this year*, IRCC has increased the cost-of-living financial requirement – the amount of money study permit applicants outside of Quebec must prove they possess – to $20,635 for 2024.

It should be noted that this new amount is in addition to tuition fees for the first year and travel costs and that IRCC has already indicated that its cost-of-living requirement will be adjusted annually based on Statistics Canada’s newest low-income cut-off (LICO) release.

*This new cost-of-living financial requirement does not apply to any study permit applications submitted to IRCC on or before December 31, 2023.

Note: All funds presented below are expressed in Canadian dollars.

All provinces/territories except Quebec

On and before December 31, 2023: The following are the minimum funds (not including tuition) required per year by study permit applicants to prove they can support themselves as a student as well as any family members who accompanied them to Canada.

The applicant/student: $10,000

The applicant’s first accompanying family member: $4,000

Every additional accompanying family member: $3,000

As of January 1, 2024: The following are the minimum funds (not including tuition) required per year by a study permit applicant to prove they can support themselves and any accompanying family members in Canada.

It is worth noting again that the information below will likely change in 2025 and every year beyond that because IRCC has indicated that this requirement will be adjusted based on Statistics Canada’s annual low-income cut-off (LICO) release.

Study permit applicants (by themselves): $20,635

Number of family members (including the applicant):

  • Two people:$25,690
  • Three people:$31,583
  • Four people:$38,346
  • Five people:$43,492
  • Six people:$49,051
  • Seven people:$54,611
  • Each additional family member (if more than seven people):$5,559

    Quebec-bound international students must prove they meet a different set of financial requirements than students in the rest of Canada. The requirements for these students are set out by Quebec’s ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI).

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