On January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants was updated to better reflect the true cost of living in Canada and help prevent student vulnerability and exploitation.


Since December 1, 2023, post-secondary designated learning institutions have been required to confirm every letter of acceptance submitted by an applicant outside Canada directly with IRCC. This enhanced verification process protects prospective students from fraud and ensures that study permits are issued based only on genuine letters of acceptance.

  • For year 2024; 606250 [max] Study permits will be processed 
  • As of 8:30 a.m. ET on January 22, 2024, most new post-secondary int’l students at the college or undergraduate level must provide a provincial attestation letter from a province or territory with their study permit application.
  • Students opting to study Masters, In-Canada Study Permit applicants applying for extensions do not need to provide Provincial Attestation Letter
  • PGWP for Master’s program is now 3yrs from previously
  • The length of PGWPs for programs other than master’s degrees will continue to align with the length of the study program, to a maximum of 3 years.
  • Graduates of programs that are at least two years in length at PGWP-eligible designated learning institutions are eligible for a 3-year PGWP

IRCC has made a change to restrict PGWPs for these institutions, anticipating that without the ability to apply for a PGWP, there will be a reduction in the number of international students enrolling in them.

Who is eligible for a PGWP after graduating from a public-private partnership college program?

  • International students currently enrolled will remain eligible for a PGWP if they meet other program eligibility criteria. 

Spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders

Important: Only spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders are eligible for an open work permit. Their dependent children are not eligible to apply for an open work permit under this category (C42).


On March 19, 2024, the Minister designated the work performed by the following spouses and common-law partners of full-time students as necessary under paragraph R205(c)(ii):

  • spouses and common-law partners of full-time students in graduate programs (master’s and doctorate) in a university or polytechnic institution
  • spouses and common-law partners of full-time students in professional degree programs in a university (e.g., medicine, dentistry, law)


The spouses and common-law partners of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible for an open work permit unless they already hold an open work permit under this stream.


Applications submitted on or after March 19, 2024

For the applicant to be eligible under administrative code C42, the principal foreign national must meet all of the following requirements:

  • hold a valid study permit or be provisionally approved for a study permit (if applying as a family group outside of Canada)
  • be studying on a full-time basis in a graduate program (master’s and doctorate) in a university or polytechnic institution, or a professional degree-granting program in a university (e.g., medicine, dentistry, law, etc.)

For the purposes of assessing eligibility, the following definitions apply:

Graduate programs will be defined as follows:

    • master’s and doctorate degrees granted by universities or polytechnic institutions

Professional degree programs will be those identified under the following:

    1. Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)
    2. Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)
    3. Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    4. Doctor of Optometry (OD)
    5. Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
    6. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
    7. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)
    8. Bachelor of Education (BEd)
    9. Bachelor of Engineering (BEng, BE, BASc) only
  • be physically residing in Canada while studying or provide proof that they plan to physically reside in Canada while studying


Source: IRCC Newsroom