International Students in Canada Urge Permanent Removal of Working Hour Cap

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Nov 27, 2023

Working While Studying Student in Canada

International students and advocacy groups in Canada are urging Ottawa to permanently remove restrictions on working hours for international students in the country.

In October last year, the government announced a temporary policy, allowing international students to work more than 20 hours a week off campus while studying. The policy is expected to end in December 31, this year, Erudera.com reports.

With the cap no longer in place, international students described their financial situation as good, affirming their ability to afford their university costs.

“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,” said Krunal Chavda, an international student at the University of Saskatchewan, told CBS News, adding that he managed to pay a total of $10,000 in his student loans through his full-time work.

Similarly, Domenici Medina, another international student from Ecuador, shared with the same source that her full-time job played a crucial role in covering her tuition expenses. She called on authorities to make the policy permanent, emphasizing that students should not be burdened with financial concerns.

“That extra money also helps with medical appointments like a dentist, which is not covered by the university’s insurance,” Medina said,

Other international students also called for making the policy permanent, saying it would help students manage their tuition costs and reduce the impact of inflation.

At the same time, advocates are supporting students in this request, emphasizing that international students are also affected by the rising cost of living as they are not provided with any federal loans or other assistance.

International students in Canada pay more for their college tuition than domestic students. Compared to local students, who, on average, pay $6,500, international students pay about $36,000 annually.

The Canadian government decided to lift the working hour cap for international students in an effort to address labor shortages in the country. Normally, international students in Canada can work up to 20 hours per week during the semester, but the change enabled the latter to work more than 20 hours weekly.

To be able to work more than 20 hours per week off campus while studying, international students were required to meet the following requirements:

  • They should have applied for a study permit (or extension) on or before October 7, 2022.
  • They should have applied for a study permit extension after October 7, 2022.

There were 807,750 international students in Canada last year, the government’s data show, an increase of nearly 30 percent from the previous year when Canada hosted 621,565 students.

>> Best Countries to Work and Study for International Students in 2023

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