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Canada is set to implement new regulations regarding the allowable hours for off-campus employment for international students(Fall Season)

Campus Employment For International Students

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From: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Announcement: Changes to Off-Campus Work Hours for International Students in Canada

April 29, 2024 Ottawa

In recent months, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has been working on reforms to the International Student Program, recognizing the valuable contributions international students make to Canada’s social, cultural, and economic landscape. These reforms aim to enhance system integrity while safeguarding students from fraud and financial vulnerability.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the temporary policy allowing students to work more than 20 hours per week off campus will conclude on April 30, 2024, and will not be extended. Looking ahead to this fall, there are plans to adjust the number of hours students may work off campus per week to 24.

In Canada, the primary focus for students arriving here is their education. Hence, allowing them to work up to 24 hours per week ensures they maintain their primary focus on studies while providing flexibility to work if needed.

As we approach the summer session, students with scheduled academic breaks can pursue employment without limitations on their working hours.

This adjustment stems from a thorough consideration of student needs, international policies, and research indicating that academic performance may decline with increased work hours. It aims to strike a balance, enabling students to work while safeguarding their academic achievements. Further details will be communicated in due course.

Moreover, we are advancing the new Recognized Institutions Framework, which recognizes post-secondary institutions upholding high standards in selecting, supporting, and retaining international students. Our commitment remains to support and safeguard international students from financial instability while maintaining the integrity of the International Student Program.

Enhancing the Student Experience: A Balanced Approach to Work and Study

“Working off campus helps international students gain work experience and offset some of their expenses. 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.”

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Key Points to Know

  • Recent research conducted in both the US and Canada highlights a significant decline in academic performance for students working over 28 hours per week, with increased likelihood of dropping out when working over 24 hours per week.
  • International student work-hour regulations vary globally. Australia, for instance, revised its policy to allow students to work 48 hours every 2 weeks. In the US, students must satisfy additional criteria before being allowed to work off campus.
  • In December 2023, the Canadian government increased the cost-of-living threshold for study permit approval, aiming to better equip students financially for life in Canada and reduce their reliance on employment.
  • Starting May 15, 2024, international students enrolling in college programs via public-private curriculum licensing arrangements will not qualify for a post-graduation work permit upon graduation. However, those already enrolled in such programs before May 15, 2024, will still be eligible for the permit provided they meet all other requirements.

The recently implemented Letter of Acceptance (LOA) verification process has proven effective. From December 1, 2023, to April 1, 2024, IRCC has:

  • Received nearly 162,000 LOAs for verification
  • Confirmed the validity of nearly 142,000 LOAs directly with designated learning institutions (DLIs)
  • Identified almost 9,000 LOAs that either didn’t match any issued by a DLI or had already been cancelled by the DLI before the foreign national applied for a study permit

Contact us for more information.


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