Canadian Govt Set to End Program Allowing Int’l Students to Work More Than 20 Hours Per Week

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Nov 30, 2023

people in Toronto, Canada

The pilot program introduced by the Canadian government to temporarily remove the 20-hour weekly work cap for international students is expected to end by December 31, 2023.

The decision, which had an impact on more than 500,000 students, was implemented last year on November 15 in a bid to address labor shortages in the country, Erudera.com reports.

The program coming to an end has caused stress among the students, who point out that last year, they were in a better financial situation since they had the opportunity to work more hours. They say authorities in Canada should permanently remove the 20-hour-per-week cap.

"The past year has been quite good in terms of finances because I could work 40 hours a week and have been able to pay off my tuition fees," Krunal Chavda, an international student at the University of Saskatchewan, said in an interview with CBC News.

According to student advocates, plans to once again limit the number of hours international students are allowed to work in Canada while classes are in session could prompt students to seek employment illegally, exposing them to potential exploitation.

To be permitted to work more than 20 hours per week during studies, international students had to meet certain requirements. They were eligible for this opportunity if:

  • they had applied for a study permit or extension on or before October 7, 2022
  • they applied for a study permit extension after October 7, 2022

Normally, students in Canada are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week during the semester, but since November 15, they have been eligible for more off-campus work hours.

International students in Canada can work full-time during breaks, such as winter or summer holidays, between academic sessions. Meanwhile, they are allowed to work as many hours as they want on campus.

“You can work full-time if you’re on a scheduled break, such as winter and summer holidays, or a fall or spring reading week. You’re free to work overtime or work two part-time jobs that add up to a higher than usual number of hours,” the government states on its website.

In 2022, Canada had more than 800,000 international students - study permit holders, across all educational sectors, including higher education, official data show. The number has dramatically increased from 2000, when Canada welcomed over 120,000 international students.

The number of study permit holders in Canada increased by more than 400 percent between 2000 to 2001.

>> Work and Study in Canada: Eligibility, Hours, and Job Types

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