Canada Allows International Students to Work Full-Time to Fight COVID-19

Published on: April 23rd, 2020

Effective immediately, the Canadian government is removing working restrictions for certain international students, allowing them to work full-time although classes are still in session. The new rule will apply to those who work in essential services, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.

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International students in Canada are usually restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year. The government is lifting this restriction as it recognizes that many of these students are studying in health and emergency services related programs, and could help to support Canada’s frontline workers in their fight against COVID-19.

The pandemic has put considerable strain on workers in certain industries, and this decision is meant to alleviate some of that pressure. 

In a press release earlier this week, Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino acknowledged the key role immigrants play in Canada during this turbulent time:

“Immigrants, temporary foreign workers and international students are making important contributions as frontline workers in health care and other essential service sectors. We know and value their efforts and sacrifices to keep Canadians healthy and ensure the delivery of critical goods and services.”

Students can consult this government guide to determine whether they are considered an essential worker. 


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