Canada’s Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has prolonged a policy extension enabling select international students to exceed the standard 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus employment, an update that’s set to benefit numerous students across the country.
Initiated in 2022 to counter labour shortages, the temporary policy allowed for full-time (40 hours per week) off-campus employment, initially slated to conclude on December 31, 2022. However, the recent announcement stretches this policy, extending it until April 30, 2024.
Before this extension, IRCC confined international students to a maximum of 20 hours per week for off-campus work during the academic term, permitting full-time work only during scheduled breaks.
Effective December 7, 2023, international students already in Canada or those with submitted study permit applications will continue benefiting from the extended off-campus work hours.
Minister Miller shared updates on the temporary policies influencing international students, highlighting the following:
“The waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit on off-campus work for international students will be prolonged until April 30, 2024.
“Those already in Canada and applicants who applied for a study permit by December 7, 2023, can work off campus for more than 20 hours per week until then.
“We are exploring potential future policies, such as expanding off-campus work hours to 30 per week during class sessions.”
While not a permanent policy, this extension alleviates financial pressures for many international students across Canada.
Echoed by an Ecuadorian international student, the increased work hours were applauded 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 the previous restrictions.
IRCC said that it remains committed to exploring future policy options, including potentially expanding off-campus work hours to 30 hours per week during class sessions.