IRCC Announces End to Temporary Off-Campus Work Hour Extension for International Students
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IRCC Announces End to Temporary Off-Campus Work Hour Extension for International Students

Austin Campbell

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Work Hour Extension for International Students

In a recent announcement, Immigration Minister Marc Miller disclosed that the temporary measures allowing international students to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus will not be extended. This decision marks a shift from the policy implemented in October 2022, which temporarily permitted international students with off-campus work authorization to work additional hours while classes were in session.

Changes in Off-Campus Work Hours

Starting from the upcoming fall academic semester, international students in Canada will be limited to working up to 24 hours per week during class sessions. This decision comes as a surprise, considering that last December, IRCC indicated the possibility of expanding off-campus work hours to 30 hours per week during class sessions in the future. Minister Miller justified the decision by stating that allowing students to work 30 hours a week during the academic year could adversely affect their academic performance.

Minister Miller emphasized the importance of balancing work and studies for international students. He expressed concerns that working excessive hours could detract from students’ academic commitments and compromise their overall educational experience. Additionally, limiting off-campus work hours aims to discourage international students from applying for study permits primarily for the purpose of working in Canada.

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Financial Considerations for International Students

The decision to cap off-campus work hours at 24 per week also takes into account the increased cost of living requirements for international students announced last December. To be eligible for a study permit, single applicants must demonstrate savings of $20,635 in addition to tuition fees. While international students on academic breaks are permitted to work unlimited hours, those taking summer classes must adhere to the 20-hour-per-week rule.

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Other Changes to Canada’s International Student Program

The decision to end the temporary off-campus work hour extension is part of a broader initiative by IRCC to enhance the integrity of Canada’s international student program.

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Additional measures include the requirement for students to obtain:

  • A Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province where their designated learning institution (DLI) is located.
  • IRCC is working on implementing the Trusted Institutions Framework to ensure DLIs provide adequate support to international students.

Eligibility Criteria for Off-Campus Work

International students seeking off-campus work opportunities during the academic year must fulfill certain requirements, including holding a valid study permit, studying full-time at a DLI, maintaining satisfactory academic standing, and possessing a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Additionally, students enrolled in academic, vocational, or professional training programs lasting at least six months leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate are eligible.

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