Canada Lifts Limits on Hours per Week International Students Can Work

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser debuted a new policy in Canada that will impact foreign students studying on October 7, 2022. International students with off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be permitted to work off-campus for more than 20 hours per week while enrolled in classes beginning on November 15, 2022, and for the duration of 2023.

This is fantastic news for the many international students studying in Canada who depend on part-time work to pay their tuition, cover their living expenses, and gain valuable work experience.

The 20 Hour Weekly Limit, Lifted

In Canada, international students are typically only allowed to work 20 hours a week off-campus during the regular academic semesters.

This cap is typically imposed to motivate students to concentrate on their studies. But not every student, every course, or every circumstance is the same. Many students discover that they have extra capacity or that the workload of their current courses gives them the freedom to work longer hours at their off-campus jobs. They have the freedom to do so thanks to this new policy in Canada.

The more than 500,000 foreign students who are currently enrolled in academic programs in Canada as well as those who have already submitted applications for study permits and are about to start their studies there will be subject to the new policy in Canada.

As an international student in Canada, you can work more weekly hours off-campus between November 15, 2022 and December 21, 2023 as long as you meet these requirements: 

  • You’re a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • Or you’re a former full-time student, now part-time student, in your final semester of study completing your program
  • You’re enrolled in a qualifying post-secondary program of study that is at least 6 months long 
  • Your program leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • You’ve begun your studies 
  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) 
  • You have off-campus work authorization on your study permit

Benefits for International Students

In addition to helping Canada’s current labour shortages, this measure also provides a lot of important benefits for international students:

  • Students can earn more weekly income, helping them pay for tuition, living expenses, and other fees
  • This gives students new opportunities to gain work experience in their field, preparing them for career success later (whether in their home country or in Canada itself) 
  • The opportunity to gain more experience now gives students a better chance of working in Canada full-time later, with a Post-Graduate Work Permit 
  • Working allows students to network and develop key relationships, opening new doors to career success later on

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