International Students in Canada Will Be Allowed to Work Only 20 Hours a Week from May 1

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 29, 2024

international students working in Australia.jpg

As of May 1, international students in Canada will no longer be allowed to work for more than 20 hours per week off-campus.

Since November 2022, some international students in the country have been permitted to work off-campus more than 20 hours per week while studying, and unlimited hours during academic breaks. The policy will expire on April 30, 2024, reports

However, the Canadian Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, said on Monday that, beginning in September, international students will be able to work off-campus up to 24 hours weekly during regular academic terms.

“Looking at best practices and policies in other like-minded countries, most of them limit the number of working hours for international students. Canada’s rules need to be aligned or we will find our programs attracting more and more applicants whose primary intent is to work and not study,” he told reporters during a media scrum.

The government temporarily waived the cap on the hours international students are allowed to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision came as part of efforts to address the country’s labor shortage and improve students’ quality of life amid the rising cost of living.

Although it was a successful measure in helping the Canadian economy recover from the pandemic, according to Miller, it is no longer necessary. He said that international students should be in Canada to study and not work.

He believes the 24-hour per week cap is reasonable because of the increased cost-of-living requirement for international students in Canada, which came into effect on January 1, 2024.

International students can still work unlimited hours during academic breaks if they are in full-time studies in the country. Those who are taking summer classes must comply with the the 20 hours-per-week requirement.

Before the pandemic, international students were allowed to work off-campus for only 20 hours per week. After the waiver, as official data indicate, over 80 percent of international students worked more than 20 hours per week.

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), international students in Canada are allowed to work off-campus during the academic year under the following conditions:

  • If they hold a valid study permit.
  • If they pursue full-time studies at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
  • They have already started education at DLI and achieve good academic performance.
  • Are enrolled in an academic, vocational, or training program that lasts at least six months.
  • Have received a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).

The number of international students in Canada has tripled in the past ten years, exceeding 900,000 students in 2023.

More from Erudera News:

>> Canada’s International Student Enrollment Rose by Nearly 30% in 2023

>> Are International Students Responsible for Canada’s Housing Crisis?

>> Two-Year Cap on International Students in Canada, 35% Decrease in Study Permits for 2024

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