Canada: New Work Hours Limit For International Students Coming In September

Canada: New Work Hours Limit For International Students Coming In September

From September, international students will be permitted to work off-campus for up to 24 hours per week.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 12:22 AM IST
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Marc Miller

Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced changes to the work hours for international students pursuing their studies in Canada. From September, international students will be permitted to work off-campus for up to 24 hours per week. This change comes as the temporary waiver of the 20-hour limit, which was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to expire.

Ensuring alignment with International standards

Miller emphasised the importance of aligning Canada's policies with those of other similar countries to maintain the integrity of the international student program. He stated, "Canada's rules need to be aligned or we will find our programs attracting more and more applicants whose primary intent is to work and not studying." He clarified that the purpose of the international student program is for students to focus on their studies, not work.

The decision to set the new work limit at 24 hours was made after considering various factors. During the Press Conference, Miller noted that more than 80 per cent of international students are currently working more than 20 hours a week. However, the minister emphasised that working beyond a certain threshold, like 30 hours a week, could negatively impact students' academic performance.

Concerns over full-time work authorisation

Critics have expressed concern regarding the full-time work authorisation granted to international students, as they believe it may lead to a blurring of lines between study permits and work visas, thereby undermining the program's objective. In response to these concerns, the government intends to reinstate the 20-hour limit until September when the permanent change to 24 hours can be implemented.

It's important to note that there are no restrictions on the number of hours international students can work during periods when they're not actively enrolled in classes, such as during summer breaks. Miller's department had warned that exceeding work limits might distract students from their studies. While considering setting the cap at 30 hours per week, Miller had expressed concerns about its impact on study quality. "We know from studies that when you start working around 30-hour levels, there is a material impact on the quality of your studies," he explained. 

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