Canada’s Immigration Policy Update Benefits International Students

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has extended a policy allowing select international students to exceed the standard 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus employment. This update, initiated in 2022 to address labor shortages, has been prolonged until April 30, 2024, benefiting numerous students across the country.

Policy Background and Extension

The temporary policy, originally implemented to permit full-time (40 hours per week) off-campus employment, was set to conclude on December 31, 2022. However, the recent announcement extends this policy, offering relief to international students. Before this extension, IRCC restricted students to a maximum of 20 hours per week for off-campus work during the academic term.

Effective Date and Eligibility

Effective December 7, 2023, international students already in Canada or those with submitted study permit applications will continue to benefit from the extended off-campus work hours. Minister Miller shared updates on the temporary policies, highlighting the extension until April 30, 2024, and the opportunity for those in Canada or with study permit applications submitted by December 7, 2023, to work off campus for more than 20 hours per week.

Future Considerations

While not a permanent policy, the extension alleviates financial pressures for many international students across Canada. Minister Miller expressed an ongoing commitment to exploring future policy options, including the potential expansion of off-campus work hours to 30 per week during class sessions.

Student Responses

An Ecuadorian international student echoed the sentiments of many, applauding the increased work hours for easing financial worries. To qualify for the extended work hours, international students must attend in-person classes at a Canadian post-secondary institution, possess off-campus work authorization on their study permit, and, for those who applied by October 7, 2022, benefit from the removal of previous restrictions.

Ongoing Commitment

IRCC remains dedicated to exploring future policy options, emphasizing the importance of supporting international students and considering measures to enhance their experience in Canada.

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