Canada Lifts Work Hour Limit for International Students

Canada Lifts Work Hour Limit for International Students

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 07 Oct, 2022 | 06:18 AM]
About Author - 4 min read

“With the economy growing at a faster rate than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and workforce needed to fuel our growth. Immigration will be crucial to addressing our labor shortage. By allowing international students to work more while they study, we can help ease pressing needs in many sectors across the country, while providing more opportunities for international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.” – Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Employers in Canada are facing challenges in finding & retaining the workers they need at this time of economic recovery and growth. The Canadian government is continuing to take result-oriented actions to address the drastic labor market shortages across many in demand jobs in Canada.

Here’s what you need to know:

Quick Facts:

  • A majority of international students are allowed to work both, on and off-campus, as authorized on their study permits. Over the past years, nearly 50% of post-secondary international students in Canada reported earning income during their studies.
  • Prior to the announcement, international students authorized to work off-campus were only permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.
  • More than 452,000 study permit applications have been processed since January 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022. During the same period in 2021, the IRCC only managed to process 367,000 applications. This growth represents an increase of 23%.
  • In 2021, IRCC processed over 119,000 study permit extension applications – with an approval rate of 97%. For extension applications processed between January 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022, the approval rate was 96%.
  • International Students being considered as part of the program to start the study permit extensions – will be mandated to meet certain eligibility criteria. Applications that fail to meet the criteria will be manually audited by the officers.

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In-depth Analysis:

International Students to help address Canada’s Labor Market Shortages

On October 7th, the Honourable Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, announced a temporary lift of the 20-hour/week cap on the number of hours allowed for post-secondary students to work off-campus. 

International Students allowed to work off-campus, as authorized on their study permits will not be restricted by the 20-hour/week rule from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023. 

International Students who have already submitted a study permit application, as of October 7th – will also be able to benefit from this temporary lift. This approach by the Canadian government will not only provide students with greater opportunities to gain valuable Canadian work experience but also increase the availability of workers to support & sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth. 

With over 500,000 International Students already available in Canada to back up this initiative, this temporary change reflects the pivotal role International Students can play in addressing the current labor market shortages – while pursuing their studies. 

New Pilot to automate the processing of Study Permit Extensions

The IRCC also plans on launching a new pilot project this month. This pilot project will be designed to automate the processing of study permit extensions. 

The type of applications included in this new pilot has a significantly high approval rate. Furthermore, this pilot will include a small group of applicants – who could witness faster study permit extension processing times. The goal is to improve client service. 

Other benefits of this initiative include a transition period for those studying online from abroad and an opportunity for those with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits to get an additional 18-month open work permit.

Immigrating to Canada as an International Student

With the ever-growing interest in Canada from International Students from across the world, IRCC continues to set the bar higher for immigration processing. The IRCC aims to strengthen Canada’s immigration system, shorten processing times, reduce application backlogs, and improve client experience. Now is indeed the best time to apply for Canada Study Visa.


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