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Arriving in Canada as a student is an exciting adventure, but it can also be financially daunting. Fortunately, Canada’s social support system extends to newcomers, including international students, through CRA benefits for students. Understanding and applying for these benefits can significantly ease the financial burden of your studies, allowing you to focus on academic success and enjoying your Canadian experience. This easy-to-understand guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the key CRA benefits available to students in Canada.

What is CRA?

CRA Benefits for Students: Understanding and Applying for a CRA

The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) handles tax laws and oversees various financial benefits and incentive programs for the federal government and most provinces and territories. As a newcomer, the CRA is essential for accessing financial benefits to help you transition smoothly into Canadian life.

Who is Considered a Newcomer?

The CRA considers you a newcomer if you become a resident of Canada for the first time. As:

  • Permanent residents
  • Refugees (protected persons)
  • Temporary residents (workers, students, or temporary resident permit holders)

Read… Tech In-Demand Jobs in Canada for International Students

Key Financial Benefits for Newcomers

Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment to help families with children under 18 years old, easing the financial burden for newcomer families.

  • Your child must be under 18.
  • You or your spouse/common-law partner must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, protected person, or temporary resident who has lived in Canada for at least 18 months.
  • It would help if you lived in Canada.
Application Process
  • Complete the RC66 form and provide proof of your immigration status.
  • Apply online through My CRA Account, by mail, or through a licensed service provider.
Benefit Amount
  • The amount depends on your household net income and the number of children.
  • Currently, the maximum yearly payment is $7,437 per year ($619.75 per month) for each child under six and $6,275 per year ($522.92 per month) for each child aged six to seventeen if your annual family net income is under $34,863.
  • Payments are due on the 20th of every month.

GST/HST Credit

The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment to help individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset some of the GST or HST they pay.


  • You must be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes and meet one of the following:
    • Be 19 years or older.
    • Have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner.
    • Be (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child.

Application Process

  • Fill out the RC151 form (GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada).

Benefit Amount

  • The amount depends on your marital status and your family’s net income.
  • A couple with two children might receive up to $992 quarterly, while a single person without children could get up to $496 from July 2023 to June 2024.
  • Payments are due on July 5, October, January, and April.

Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) 

The CWB is a refundable tax credit to supplement the earnings of low-income workers and encourage employment.


  • You must be a resident of Canada throughout the year.
  • You must be 19 or older on December 31 or live with your spouse, common-law partner, or child

Application Process

  • You don’t need to apply separately. The CRA checks your eligibility when you file your income tax return.

Benefit Amount

  • Single individuals can receive up to $1,428/year if their adjusted annual net income is $23,495 or less.
  • Families can get up to $2,461/year if their net income is $26,805 or less.
  • Payments are made quarterly on the 15th of each month.

Tips to Maximize Your Benefits

  • File your tax return every year to access most CRA services.
  • Ensure the CRA has your current address and banking details to avoid delays in receiving benefits.
  • Government benefits and policies may change. Regularly visit the CRA website or sign up for CRA alerts to stay informed.


By understanding and applying for these CRA benefits for students or permanent residents, you can take a significant step towards financial stability in Canada. These programs can help ease the burden of settling in, allowing you to focus on your career goals, education, or simply enjoying your new life. Filing your annual taxes is crucial to accessing these benefits and other CRA services. Visit the CRA website here for more information and application details. Do not hesitate to seek help from a tax professional if needed. With little planning and the support of these valuable programs, you will be well on your way to a successful and rewarding future in Canada.


Author Ojochide

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