May 2, 2024

New Regulations for Off-Campus Work Hours for International Students in Canada

Canada has long welcomed international students, recognizing their invaluable contribution to the country's social, cultural, and economic landscape. In line with this ethos, recent months have seen Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implement reforms to the International Student Program. These changes aim to uphold system integrity while safeguarding students against fraud and financial instability.

Announced by the Marc Miller, Minister of IRCC, a significant adjustment to off-campus work policies is set to take effect. The temporary provision permitting students to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus will conclude on April 30, 2024, with no extension planned. Subsequently, a new policy will permit international students to work up to 24 hours per week off-campus, starting in the fall.

The rationale behind this adjustment is clear: students who come to Canada should prioritize their studies. Allowing a modest increase in off-campus work hours to 24 per week strikes a balance between academic focus and the practical need to earn income. This change acknowledges the reality that many students may require employment to support themselves while studying, while ensuring that their primary commitment remains their education.

It's worth noting that during academic breaks, such as the upcoming summer session, students will have the flexibility to work unlimited hours, providing further opportunity for financial stability.

In crafting these regulations, various factors were considered, including the needs of students, international policies on student work hours, and research indicating the impact of work on academic performance. The goal is to provide students with options for employment without compromising their educational outcomes.

Additionally, ongoing efforts include the development of the Recognized Institutions Framework. This framework aims to recognize and reward post-secondary institutions that maintain high standards in selecting, supporting, and retaining international students. By doing so, Canada remains committed to supporting and protecting international students from financial vulnerability while ensuring the integrity of the International Student Program.

Further details regarding these changes will be communicated in due course, as Canada continues its dedication to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for international students.