International students can work off-campus over 20 hours per week

Canada’s Immigration Minister has announced a new temporary measure to support Canada’s historic labour shortages. This new temporary measure will allow more than 500,000 international students in Canada to potentially work more hours.

From November 15, 2022 until December 31, 2023, all international students who are in Canada and have off-campus work authorization will be able to legally work over 20 hours per week off-campus while class is in session

Currently, international students are permitted to work only 20 hours per week. The only time of year when that restriction does not apply is during scheduled breaks, such as summer and winter holidays and reading weeks.

This will help sustain Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic growth and provide a boost to employers in sectors that are particularly facing severe labour shortages.

In addition, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is also working on a new pilot program to help automate the processing of applications to extend study permits

The new pilot is going to free up officers in order to focus their efforts on more complex applications and continue to help reduce immigration backlogs.

The decision to temporary extend work hours for international students was welcomed by students, employers and officials.

Removing the limit on hours of work while studying gives international student the power to leave bad jobs, speak up against mistreatment, and freedom and flexibility to make decisions regarding their work.

Canada has already processed more than 452,000 study permit applications between January and August of 2022. It shows a 23 per cent increase compared to the 367,000 processed over the same period in 2021. With this new record, Canada has already broken the record it set last year for study permits processed in a calendar year.

International students make extraordinary social, economic and cultural contributions to our country,” Fraser said. “They contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy, fill key gaps in the labour shortage. In my view, we need to continue to do more to promote the international student program.”

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