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International Students Can Now Work Over 20 Hours a Week

Published on: October 12th, 2022

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced temporary measures to increase the number of authorized work hours for international students. Starting November 15, 2022, international students in Canada who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be allowed to work over the 20 hour per week limit. 

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New Student Work Measures Announced

The new measure is aimed at addressing Canada’s historic labour shortages. Canadian employers have been facing unprecedented challenges filling job vacancies. With nearly one million job vacancies, labour shortages are at an all time high. As a result, many are turning to immigration to fill these shortages. 

International students could be key to help fill these gaps. With nearly half a million foreign students in Canada available to potentially work additional hours, this temporary change could have a big impact on the labour market. It also reflects how important international students are for the country and the economy. In fact, research has shown that immigration is crucial in addressing the labour shortage and filling essential jobs.. 

The IRCC stated that from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students in Canada who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. Foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application, as of Friday, will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved.

Previous Restrictions 

Previously students were limited to working a maximum 20 hours a week off campus. This restriction was lifted only during breaks such as summer and winter holidays or by other past temporary measures.

However, with the cost of living on the rise, many international students have been urging for an increase in the number of working hours allowed. Canada has been facing a record high inflation rate which has been affecting many across the country. International students are especially hard hit by increased inflation as they often pay much higher tuition rates than Canadian nationals. The new measure would give the students the ability to potentially earn more and be better able to afford their tuition and living expenses.

Canada is a popular destination for many when deciding where to study. Canadian universities offer a high quality of education that is often times cheaper than other popular study countries, such as the USA. Last year alone, Canada issued nearly 450,000 new study permits and is set to exceed that number by the end of the year. 

Options to Remain in Canada After Finishing Your Studies

Many students who come to Canada are interested in making their move more permanent. As a result the IRCC offers a few paths for students to continue to live and work in Canada after they finish their studies. 

One popular way is the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP gives eligible international students an open work permit. PGWPs allow the holder to work for any employer, anywhere in Canada. 

PGWPs are valid for between eight months to three years and are a great way to obtain valuable Canadian work experience. Once an applicant has work experience in Canada, it opens a lot of opportunities to obtain Canadian permanent residence

Another popular avenue for international students to remain in Canada after finishing their studies is Express Entry. Express Entry is the fastest and most popular pathway to Canadian permanent residency. Once in the Express Entry pool, applicants are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and are ranked against other applicants in the pool. Express Entry often favours candidates with Canadian work and study experience giving them a higher CRS score and thus potentially ranking higher. This gives students and graduates in Canada an excellent chance of obtaining permanent residence.

 

Interested in learning more about how you can come to Canada to study? Take our free assessment to learn more!

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