BREAKING NEWS: Canada Temporarily Lifts International Students Limit of 20 Hours Per Week Off-Campus Work
On October 7, 2022, Minister Sean Fraser has announced a new temporary measure, permitting international students to work more than 20 hours per week off campus while in class. This measure is aimed at alleviating Canada’s current labour shortages which is making it difficult to find and retain workers. The Canadian government remains focused on promoting economic recovery and growth and this action is believed to help. This new policy comes only 3 months after the Canadian government announced a temporary extension of 18-months to post-graduate work permit holders expiring between January 31 – December 31, 2022.
Current Work Permit Rules
Currently, international students are capped at working more than 20 hours per week off campus during school sessions; however, starting November 15, 2022 until December 31, 2023, international students who are in Canada and have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted to the current rules and will be eligible to work over 20 hours per week off-campus. This temporary measure will also benefit foreign nationals who submit and obtain an approved work permit application filed as of October 7, 2022.
Canada Experiencing Economic Growth
Canada’s economy is growing at an unprecedented rate and employers have not been able to recruit for their workforce. With this new temporary policy, international students may work while attending school and this will not only benefit the foreign students as they will obtain Canadian experience, but it will also support employers to hire workers with the necessary skills. In addition to obtaining experience, international students will have the opportunity to support themselves financially with the rising cost of living and rising tuition fees. Fraser noted this measure will allow over 500,000 eligible international students already in Canada to potentially work more hours.
International Student Population in Canada
Minister Fraser pointed out that there are currently more than 500,000 international students in Canada and an additional 452,000 study permit applications have been processed between January and August of 2022. Canada has continued to have an open door policy when it comes to international students. During COVID-19, the government introduced a COVID-19 Readiness Plan for Designated Learning Institutions (DLI’s) allowing students to travel to Canada while the borders were closed to international travel.
In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a mandate to Minister Fraser outlining how the government aims to help more temporary residents gain permanent residence. Canada plans to welcome more than 431,000 permanent residents in 2022.
If you have any questions regarding policy changes, study permits or work permit, please contact our office for further assistance.