Int’l Students in Canada Can Work 24 Hours Weekly Starting This Fall, Immigration Minister Says

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

Canada's Immigration Minister Marc Miller

International students in Canada will be allowed to work off-campus for up to 24 hours per week starting this fall, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced today.

He said that the temporary policy, which allowed international students in the country to work more than 20 hours a week off-campus, will not be extended and will end as planned on April 30, 2024.

The cap will return to 20 hours per week until September this year. Then the government will change it to 24 hours a week off-campus, reports.

In a statement released today, April 29, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said that international students must be in Canada to study. Therefore, allowing students to work up to 24 hours a week will ensure their initial focus is on their studies, while they also have the option to work if necessary.

IRCC’s statement further points out that international students can still work unlimited hours during scheduled academic breaks - summer and winter holidays.

“In developing this change, we looked at the needs of students, policies in other countries, as well as research that has shown that academic outcomes suffer the more a student works while studying. It also strikes the appropriate balance so students have the option to work without compromising academic outcomes,” IRCC said.

According to Minister Miller, although working off-campus helps international students gain more experience, they must be prepared for life in Canada and receive the necessary support to succeed.

“As international students arrive in Canada, we want them to be prepared for life here and have the support they need to succeed. However, first and foremost, people coming to Canada as students must be here to study, not work. We will continue working to protect the integrity of our student program,” Miller said.

IRCC cites recent studies conducted in the United States and Canada, which have found a link between academic performance and students working more than 28 hours a week.

According to these findings, the academic performance of students working this number of hours declined considerably, while those working more than 24 hours a week are more likely to drop out.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, international students in Canada were allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours weekly. The government temporarily lifted the 20-hour cap amid the health crisis to solve labor shortages in the country. Miller emphasized that was a successful measure for economic recovery back then, but now it is no longer necessary.

Image source: Official Twitter account of Immigration Minister Marc Miller, posted on August 3, 2023

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