International students now can work 20+ hours, government says


To help with Canada’s labour shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced today the temporary lifting of the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours that eligible post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus while class is in session.

These changes will start on November 15, 2022 and will be in effect until December 2023.

At present, international students who apply to study in an eligible Canadian educational program (like CIRA College) may get authorized to work off-campus during their studies for up to 20 hours per week. This limit is lifted during breaks such as the summer and winter holidays.

But not anymore!

This measure will allow over 500,000 eligible international students already in Canada to potentially work more hours.

“This change is going to help sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth. It’s also going to give many post-secondary students a greater opportunity to support themselves.”, said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

The labour market remains exceptionally tight, with nearly one million job vacancies reported in the second quarter of 2022.

“Removing the limit on hours of work while studying gives migrant student workers the power to leave bad jobs, speak up against exploitation and mistreatment, and freedom and flexibility to make decisions about their work” said Sarom Rho, an organizer with the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

Most international students report they are interested in remaining in Canada as permanent residents upon completing their studies.

Research shows that international students who go on to gain permanent residence tend to integrate quickly into the Canadian labour market due to factors such as their Canadian work and study experience.

And who knows? If this temporary solution works, maybe it’ll stay for a more extended period. Time will tell…

Read the official resolution from the government.

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