Off-campus work hour limits to be lifted temporarily in pilot project

OTTAWA, ONT. — Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on Friday the temporary lifting of the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours eligible international post-secondary students can work while class is in session.

From November 15th until December 31st, 2023, international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour work week rule, according to the ministry.

As of October 11th, 2022, Northern Lights College has a total of 593 international students across all campuses, according to Aleisha Hendry with the college.

Hendry says the final number will not be available until November 1st.

The ministry says foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application as of Friday will also benefit from this temporary change if their application is approved.

This measure will reportedly provide international students with the opportunity to gain work experience in Canada and increase the availability of workers to sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth.

The ministry states that more than 500,000 international students are already in Canada to possibly work additional hours.

According to the ministry, this temporary change reflects the important role international students play in addressing the labour shortage while continuing their studies.

Study permit holders will still be expected to balance their study and work commitments because those who stop studying or reduce course loads to only part-time are not eligible to work off-campus.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is also launching a pilot project to automate the processing of study permit extensions this month.

These applications have a high approval rate because all applicants have already been approved to study in Canada.

This pilot will reportedly involve a small group of applicants who could see their extended study permit processed much faster to improve client service.

If the pilot is successful, it will be expanded to help reduce processing times and allow officers to focus on more complex applications, says the ministry.

The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship says Friday’s announcement is part of a series of initiatives aiming to benefit international students and graduates while supporting Canada’s efforts to improve client service and application processing times.


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